I came across a paradigm of leadership that was challenging and relevant: a mixture of patience and servanthood. To further illustrate my point, I have attempted to write this blog post 3 times due to the amount of interruptions by needy, exhausted children.
Our morning started off with a hectic rush of being late to a rifle shooting class for children taught by an ex-Navy Seal. The shooting range is located in a different, unfamiliar town and the sign was not easily marked. I punched the coordinates into Google Map (outstanding app btw) and compared them to the directions my wife printed ahead of time. Both lead me straight to a house that happens to be on the same longitude as the shooting range. The owner was friendly enough to point me in the right direction after indicating that I was not the first person to come to his house looking for the range. On the way to the range, I missed the turn and ended up driving to the next town. An hour of time and half a tank of gas later, we located the shooting range (and saved it in the GPS for future use).
Needless to say, once we found the place, I was stressed and frustrated. However, those feelings were long gone after watching my oldest son, Caedmon, shoot his way up to first place. The instructor was patient and taught the kids tactical maneuvers while giving them a range of firearms to shoot with including an assault rifle, .22 gauge rifle, and a lever action rifle. I won’t pretend to know all their names, but I will say that I thoroughly enjoyed the learning experience.
Once I got home, I spent about 15 minutes before my wife pulled up, asking to go fix her flat tire. She was driving on a spare and we needed to change it as soon as possible. Sam’s ended up not having the right equipment, so we drove over to Wal-mart, where in we walked out an hour and a half later. For those of you with out a toddler, you won’t understand the magnitude of stress a parent goes through in order to entertain them for that long.
We eventually make it home, wherein the living room and kitchen are a disaster. My wife surprised me by renting the Hobbit (still can not believe I missed it in theaters. I am an uber LOTR fan). So, I picked up the rooms and headed outside for yard work. I postponed watching it, because Caedmon expressed interest in watching it with me. The plan was to come in, take a shower, pour a glass of iced coffee, and enjoy Middle Earth meekness to the max. When I came in from yard work, my wife had put a movie on for the younger two children. Essentially, I had cleaned their mess up so that they could watch a movie.
Needless to say, more frustration. I decided to take a shower and see what happens with the rest of the day. That’s when I picked up the Every Man’s Marriage book and looked over the notes from the last chapter I read. A note over the paradigm of bondservant leadership was highlighted:
A leader cannot be separated from submission and a bondservant of love must serve as a paradigm of leadership.
With this in mind, I questioned my motives of the day. Not all of the moments of service were done with joy, but I don’t think they have to be. Rather, they were done with love and that is the motivating factor that distinguishes servanthood from self-service.
I took my son to a shooting class that I had no interest in attending because I love him. Was I frustrated? Understandably so. But it was rooted in love and was genuinely about spending some time with him. The same is true of cleaning and not saying a word about the movie (until a blog post they probably will never read). I love these little people so much that the paradigm of leadership in my family can truly become servanthood.