In Henrietta Mears life story, “The Big Dream,” she talks about the mantle of leadership. I read this book at least once, and though have never gone back to find this section, she talked about a day that the “mantle of leadership came down onto her shoulders.” She felt the weight of it. Here is one writer’s memory of this moment:
“In 1910, when she was twenty, her mother died; this was particularly difficult for her since they had been so close. She pondered the words of Dr. Riley following the memorial service concerning the ‘spiritual mantle’ of her mother passing to her, and she became increasingly focused on surrendering her life to Christ. At this time she experienced the power of the indwelling presence of God’s spirit in a new way; this formed the basis for all her future ministry.”
In the last few weeks I have been increasingly aware of this thing I will call the “leadership mantle.” It is the very things that rest on your shoulders . . .
It could be something, like with Henrietta, that God keeps tapping you on the shoulder about through the Holy Spirit. Will you allow Him to have more of your life? What is that gnawing sense you have from Him?
It could be the weight of your family, whether how to make sure your marriage is taking the next step, or with your children. One of my friends did a wonderful gift to his 12 year-old daughter – a prayer of sorts from him, for her, that could be framed. I would guess he is feeling the “mantle” of time pressing in and losing her into womanhood, as well as the teen years.
I certainly feel the weight of the new role I have – it drives me even more to my knees. It could be the people I will get to work with, it could be the sheer numbers represented within the new territory, and it could also be the sheer volume of teenagers who are still out there and yet to be reached.
What is passed to you? If you need a visual other than a mantle, how about a baton? What is being handed to you to carry?
Today is a perfect time to think about it . . . days before a new year, after the wonderful Christmas season, yet also away from what can be chaotic.
Here’s my prayer for today: “Oh Lord . . . I give you my life, my heart, and my soul. Please use me for your work, your glory, and your Kingdom. Lord I pray for the mantles in my life – my journey with you, my family, and the call of ministry in my life. Lord, please help me recognize clearly what you are passing to me. Oh, and Lord, please help me pass along to Marni, Hudson, and Charlie — good things. Amen.”
Have a great day!