As a young man Jonathan Edwards gave himself 70 resolutions to read weekly and pursue relentlessly. This 13th year of the 2nd millennium I have decided to reread and meditate upon his words, which so intrigued me as a teenager.
2 Resolved – To be continually endeavoring to find out some new contrivance and invention to promote the forementioned things.
Hmm – The “forementioned things” is worth reading. Edward’s has a nice use of the word contrivance meaning ” A thing that is created skillfully and inventively to serve a particular purpose.”
As I perused Chronicles this morning King David faced much trouble by being distracted and entertaining the idea of numbering the people in Israel. More disappointing is that God had given King David an able advisor and counselor, Joab, to turn him away from this grave error but the King refused. After 70K descendants of Abraham died at the hands of our merciful God, the King pleads with God to allow the judgement upon him and not the people who had no voice in the decision.
The brutality of leadership is to observe your decisions going horribly wrong, which often result in terrible circumstances. Courageous leaders accept responsibility for bad decisions, often after many have suffered from the decision. In leadership training most trainers highlight success stories, but few tell about the agony of leadership as a result of leadership failure. When leaders do fail they must recognize and correct the mistake, followers depend upon it. In King David’s case the pathway to success from failure was falling before a merciful God begging for protection from his terrible idea to number the people rather than trust God against the counsel of his adviser.