There’s something about rain that changes everything. Rain that comes at the end of a long hot summer brings with it new life and refreshment. The dust that has accumulated on the leaves of the trees and plants is washed off and everything is glistening.
After it’s been raining you get this sense that it’s OK. That there’s hope … there’s life.
One of the great Kings of Israel was David and the Bible records his last words before he died. This is part of what he said: ‘When one rules over people in righteousness, when he rules in the fear of God, he is like the light of morning at sunrise on a cloudless morning, like the brightness after rain that brings grass from the earth.’
How many times have you heard a politician, or any kind of leader being described like that? But I reckon if you’re a leader it’s worth pursuing.
If you’re a parent, for instance, you’re a leader. Those children watch you every moment of the day and follow your example. I wonder if they say, mum’s like the light of morning at sunrise on a cloudless morning, like the brightness after rain that brings grass from the earth?
Well… maybe not first thing in the morning as you’re clearing up from breakfast, making sure bags are packed and shoes are on … and you discover that note to parents that you should have got last night.
David certainly wasn’t the perfect leader, but somehow in his dying moments he thought back to some of the better experiences in his life and he realised that the times he saw raindrops glistening on the work that he had done, was when he had allowed God to influence his life and leadership.
I suspect that most leaders, most people generally, want to be successful. We may measure our success by numbers or dollars, or graphs on a wall. But there would be few leaders who measure their success by the light of morning at sunrise on a cloudless morning…. Like the brightness after rain that brings grass from the earth.
But if that was how we were judged as leaders, I think the world would be a better place. If someone records my last words before I die, I think I would like them to be words like David’s. I’d like to think that my leadership resulted in people being more hopeful, being able to love more, to be more generous, more gracious, more respectful of others.
As I look out my window at the sunlight glistening on the wet grass it makes me think how important it is for those who call themselves leaders to be like that. People who reflect light rather than casting a shadow. People who bring joy rather than sadness. People who offer hope rather than fear.
David, the king, was able to talk about his leadership in such a way at the end of his life. Even though he had made some terrible mistakes he knew that leadership that was God-breathed made a difference in the lives of the people he was leading.
As leaders that’s a goal worth pursing.