Day after day men came to help David, until he had a great army, like the army of God.
1 Chronicles 12:22 (NIV)
Ever since I was elected captain of safety patrol for Woodlawn Elementary School in sixth grade, I have found myself in positions of leadership, of one kind or another, pretty much my entire life. I have experienced being a leader, and I have lived and worked under many different leaders in business, church, organizations, and community. I would rate myself a capable leader, but not a great leader. I am painfully aware of my own human flaws and shortcomings.
There is a certain leadership trait I have seen at work in many individuals which I find hard to quantify. I think it’s what people mean when they call someone a “natural born leader.” It can be applied to good leaders who serve groups, peoples, and nations to the betterment of all. It can also be applied to leaders whom others will follow to evil and destructive ends. Great responsibility is placed on any leader who finds that others will follow him or her.
I believe David was a natural born leader. We see it throughout his story, but especially in today’s chapter as the scribe chronicles the names of the soldiers from every tribe who joined David in his wilderness stronghold. Given a choice between the manic mental issues of King Saul (who had originally been the peoples choice based on the fact that he was tall and looked the part) and the rugged, successful young general (who was God’s choice based on the condition of David’s heart) the soldiers threw their lot in with David. His path to the throne was planned by God, but was clearly paved by his army. David controlled the loyalty and will of the nations warriors, Saul’s family was largely decimated, and there was no one left to contend for the throne.
Today, I’m thinking about leadership. I’m thinking about the things I admire and respect in leaders and reevaluating my own leadership roles in family, business, church, and community. I desire to be responsible and accountable in the leadership roles I have been given – and I have a long way to go.