KEYWORDS: god, years, work, planning, world, time

So You Want to Be a Leader?

David Berg

—MOIsrael, December 30, 1970NO.31—GP

P.O. Box 31, London WC2E 7LX, England or GPO Box 31, San Juan‚ Puerto Rico 00936

1. I WAS WONDERING IF MY TIME SPENT IN EXILE WAS WASTED—almost completely hidden and unknown—but it immediately came to mind, the years that some men spent in seclusion and out of the public eye, before their final day came.

2. WHERE LENIN REALLY WON THE REVOLUTION, WAS THOSE YEARS HE SPENT IN EXILE—studying‚ writing‚ researching, and planning it! And those works he wrote in exile are still the classics on revolution—when he was literally in hiding—with only his lovely young wife to help him. He spent a great deal of time in libraries, reading the history of other revolutions and researching their tactics!

3. MARX, THE ORIGINAL THEORIST OF THE WHOLE THING, NEVER DID GET INTO ANY REAL REVOLUTIONARY ACTIVITY. After his exile from Germany, he spent nearly the rest of his life in England in seclusion writing Das Capital, the bible of socialism. But look what it's done to the world! SOMETIMES WHEN YOU'RE RIGHT IN THE MIDDLE OF THE ACTION, YOU GET YOUR NOSE SO CLOSE TO THE DETAILS, YOU CAN'T STAND BACK AND SEE THE OVERALL PICTURE. You don't have time to think! But you have to go through all that to appreciate it. For example‚ let's say you've taken your training as an artist, and you've started painting your major life's work; but you have to back off from it once in a while‚ in order to get the over–all picture‚ so you can really properly design it! You can get things out of proportion, perspective, and proper relationship with each other, by being too close to your work. Now and then you have to get away from it, far enough to be able to study the whole thing, in order to put things where they belong!

4. IT'S LIKE MONEY!—YOU HAVE TO KEEP IT IN ITS PLACE! A lot of people misquote that Bible verse about money, and say, "Money is the root of all evil," but that's not what the Bible says! The Bible says, "The love of money is the root of all evil!" It's the love of it that causes the trouble—that makes it worship and idolatry! A little of that "filthy lucre" is even helpful in the Lord's Work, but if you get that dollar bill so close to your eyes you can't see anything else, your whole vision becomes distorted‚ and everything gets out of proportion, and you can't see the rest of the world, and what the money is really there for, and why you need it, and how you should get it, and what you should use it for! You have to keep it far enough from you, to keep it in its proper place!

5. WHILE I WAS IN TEXAS, ALL I COULD SEE WAS TEXAS. I couldn't stand to look at Los Angeles, 'cause I had enough problems of my own in Texas. Now I can see all of you, and be much more fair, treat you more equally, instead of becoming so involved in urgent daily details, which you can always handle there yourselves. But if I'm not there, you seek the Lord.

6. THE DESIGNER OF THE REVOLUTION HAS TO BE FAR ENOUGH AWAY TO SEE THE OVER-ALL PLAN, and not get so involved with one little battle, that he can't analyse the whole war! The generals have to stay in their war room a great deal of time and study the maps, in order to synchronise the whole plan & all their efforts. Of course you have to have good leaders in the field, but somebody's got to be at the top somewhere to keep everybody working together. He must be equidistant from all of them, to put them all in their proper position! So Praise the Lord for such a precious opportunity!

7. THE DRAMATIC, CLIMACTIC, ACTION IN THE LIVES OF LEADERS SUCH AS LENIN, IS WHAT REALLY DRAWS THE ATTENTION OF THE WORLD and has the greatest popular appeal—such as his dangerous close calls and his activities in leading the revolution—his being smuggled into Russia secretly in a sealed car by the Germans, to help overthrow the Czarist Regime! This is exciting stuff that people like to hear. Most people are not interested in the years he spent in exile pouring day and night over books‚ studying the tactics of revolution, and planning its battles! In fact‚ it actually took him more years to plan the revolution and engineer its battle plans, than it did to actually wage the war! It took Lenin years to analyse and plan his procedures—compared to only the few days it took to carry them out! It also took years of planning and engineering to consolidate the revolution afterward! These dramatic action scenes are only little outcroppings of the tremendous iceberg underneath the surface—just little bubbles of the big pot that has been brewing underneath for a long time. But that's what people look at—that's all the public sees!

8. NEARLY EVERY GREAT BUILDING‚ EVERY GREAT ACCOMPLISHMENT‚ EVERY GREAT WAR, EVERY GREAT MOVEMENT‚ TOOK YEARS OF PLANNING AND LABORIOUS ENGINEERING. Every Michelangelo's painting was engineered with meticulous care, with advanced sketches, designs, etc., before he finally got to the finished stage!

9. IT TAKES A LOT LONGER TO PLAN A BUILDING THAN IT DOES TO BUILD IT! It took me a whole lot longer to select the property, plan my church building, scrounge the materials, design it‚ and do all that figuring to prepare the ground and lay the almost invisible foundation—it took much longer to do all that, than to simply lay the blocks, to build the walls, and merely stick the roof on! That was the fun part! That was the fast part! That was the physical action where you could really see something! But the people that got excited as they saw the walls and roof go up, only saw the smallest part of the job. Every builder loves to get to that physical action part of the job that is really seen—that the people begin to exclaim about—the visible! It's the invisible—below the surface, long hard hours and days and weeks and months, and sometimes years of planning‚ designing, and preparation, and the slow laying of the foundation that's the hardest part, takes the most time, and for which you get the least credit—but without which there would never be a building and it would never stand.

10. YOU CAN ASK ANY BUSINESSMAN ABOUT THAT: THE PLEASURE PART IS THE FINISHED PRODUCT—the shiny new car standing there, the people raving about it—but they don't see the blood, the sweat, and the tears, that lay in the months and years of planning and designing, trial and error, and preparation that lay behind it! They can't even see the intricate and delicate wiring and mechanical systems that lie in the product itself‚ beneath the surface, that are far more difficult to install and much more vital to the efficient operation than any nice shiny polish and paint on the surface! But what really appeals to the women—the women who buy them?—And they're the ones who make the decisions! It's the looks of the product—the pretty surface thing—the colour, the shape, the upholstery! She doesn't know what a double-barreled, down-draft carburetor or disc brakes are. She's probably doing well if she knows enough to put gas and oil in it to keep it running. She couldn't even begin to understand the intricate mechanism of the engine, the lights, the ignition system, the transmission system, and all other complicated mechanical and electronical parts unseen beneath the surface, which took a lot more time to design and install and make it work, than that pretty paint and polish.

11. EVEN A SIMPLE GOOD, WELL-COOKED MEAL TAKES HOURS OF THOUGHT AND LABOUR and organisation and preparation, and only appears and looks good and smells good for a few minutes—and then it's gone, and the consumer can't possibly appreciate all the time and effort that's gone into it in the brief moment that he enjoys it, unless he himself has been a cook, and knows what it is to have to plan the meal, buy the ingredients, and prepare the materials and cook it and serve it.

12. THAT'S REALLY THE WAY IT IS WITH MOST THINGS IN LIFE. That banana there. It just appears for the moment—here today and gone tomorrow and all the hard work of the farmer behind it is invisible! The months or years of clearing, planning, plowing, planting, growing, fertilising, pruning‚ harvesting, transporting‚ marketing—all of this is unseen behind that little banana! All we have to do is sit down here and stick it in our mouth—enjoy it momentarily, without even thinking about the hard work behind it.

13. I DON'T EVEN UNDERSTAND THE CLOTHES I HAVE ON, BELIEVE IT OR NOT! I don't know what it took to have to design this pair of pants—not even all the problems of making thread, the raising of sheep, shearing, wool gathering, selling it to the thread maker, and then the spinning of each little tiny thread, then the intricate weaving of the cloth into complicated designs of different colours! Think of it!—The elaborate machinery it must have taken—years of planning, invention, designing, and labour that have gone into just the making of the cloth! Then the tailor had to design and plan the pants—how to cut the cloth‚ how to put it together, how to make it fit, what shape it would be‚ how would it hang, what it would have—pockets, belt straps, zipper‚ etc.‚ waist size, length, and all these things! We don't even think about most of these things when we go to buy a pair of pants. All we see is a pair of pants, and whether we like what we see, and whether or not they fit!

14. WE DON'T BEGIN TO APPRECIATE THE YEARS OF UNSEEN LABOUR AND INVENTION BEHIND THEM—not to mention the dyes that were grown in some exotic clime somewhere under conditions we know not what! I doubt if one of us could even explain where these dyes came from or what plant had to be grown to make them, or how they were extracted or how they were made—that in itself is a whole complicated‚ long drawn out process which was only learned through the experience and planning of years, and discoveries and inventions and trials and errors, successes and failures, and joys and heartbreaks of generations—all the unseen handiwork, time, thought, and labour behind one pair of pants! We just see it, buy it; wear it, and don't worry about it! But it took somebody or a lot of somebodies, years of time and thought and invention and discovery, and labour, to produce it.

15. EVERY BIT OF FOOD WE EAT, THE CLOTHING WE WEAR, THE BUILDINGS WE LIVE IN, THE VEHICLES WE TRAVEL IN, AND EVEN ALL THE LITTLE TINY NECESSITIES OF EVERYDAY LIFE, ARE JUST THE BRIEF AND TEMPORARY VISIBLE END PRODUCTS OF GENERATIONS of thought, invention, discovery, experimentation, designing, planning, and producing‚ by a world of labourers with a world of labour. "We have entered into other men's labours, and reaped that on which we bestowed no labour." "One planteth, another watereth; but it is God that giveth the increase." God's behind-the-scene labours are almost totally invisible—the work of creation that produced the universe and keeps it running, His design and plan for man, His constant care for His creations from the realm of the Spirit, that behind-the-scenes workshop where God actually does most of His labour. Set not, therefore, your affections on things on the earth, for the things which are seen are temporal—only temporary—only the slightly visible manifestation of all the unseen work behind them—but the things which are not seen are eternal—the spiritual world which produced them—the power and planning of God! You don't even know how He did it. All you do is enjoy it! You can't even comprehend it! All you do is consume it!

16. BUT SOMEBODY HAD TO DO IT! As Dr. Robert Millikan said, "Behind every watch there had to be a watchmaker, and so behind the intricate precision of this great universe, there had to be a Divine Designer and Creator." Even so, behind every great creation, whether of God or man, there had to be worlds of work, planning, preparation, designing, invention, discovery, exploration, organisation, and cooperation, in order to produce the finished product—the thing that's seen—which does not begin to reveal the vast unseen labour and the multitudes of labourers behind it!

17. EVEN SO‚ WITH THE CREATION OF A NEW NATION, A WAR‚ A REFORMATION, OR A REVOLUTION—or any major change in history! Somebody had to dream of it before it could happen! Somebody had to have the inspiration, the vision, the faith, the ingenuity, the genius‚ the spark that kindled the fire! You only see the fire—and thrill and marvel at its glory! You don't see the work and planning behind it—the problems in gathering materials, figuring out how to start it and keep it going!

18. YOU USED TO LOOK AT A BIG BUSINESS AND WISH YOU WERE THE BOSS, to enjoy the glory and the riches, and to get to tell other people what to do! But you'd have been better to work your eight hours and not worry‚ lest some day you'd be boss and work at all hours‚ and have all the worry! Because you couldn't possibly see all the problems, the difficulties, the obstacles, the troubles, the complications behind it—how hard it is to know what to do‚ to make decisions, and to tell other people how to do it—and to be willing to take the blame for the failures, as well as credit for the successes! As Solomon said—and he should know—"The labourer lieth down at night‚ and his rest is sweet, but the rich cannot sleep, for the abundance of his riches."—Because possessions, employees, businesses, and governments are much more responsibility than enjoyment, much more hard work than pleasure. As the great Scotch poet Bobby Burns wrote under the table—as a whole world was toasting his fame, "Would that I were back with the wee sma' daisy," "For the best laid plans of mice and men, aften gang aglae." He was wishing he were back, a wee small boy again, playing on the Scotch heather‚ gazing in wonder at the tiny flowers, without a care or responsibility in the world, unconcerned about the world around him—a world that didn't even know he existed! But now that he was famous, he had to worry about his work and his writing—the opinions of man—and his successes and failures—and no longer had the time to enjoy the simple, uncomplicated little things of life, or even the poems about them, which had made him great!—He was too busy!

19. YOU'D BETTER ENJOY BEING A BUCK PRIVATE WHILE YOU CAN—with very little worry or responsibility, credit or blame, cursing or fame. One of these days, you may be the general and have most of the work and nearly all the worry—and usually, all the blame! You look at your leaders, and you think, my‚ I'd like to be like him or her! I wish I had their position." Watch out! Some day you may have, and wish you hadn't but have to! You couldn't begin to fathom the depths of despair, the heartbreaks, trials‚ tribulations, the bitter experiences, the fires of testing they had to go through to make them the pure gold they are today, the white hot heat of the furnace they had to endure before they became the lovely colorful ceramic that they now are!

20. DON'T ASK FOR LEADERSHIP! DON'T EVEN DESIRE IT! You don't know what you're asking for! Don't try to be a leader—unless God shoves you into it—and you have to be! Just be a good follower, and be thankful that you don't have to do the leading, make the decisions, carry the burden of the responsibility, and suffer the blame! You don't realise how much goes into leadership! The years of the school of hard knocks, years of experience, trial and error, success and failure‚ suffering and tribulation—the years of following, obedience, and training, the vast work of the Spirit, the innumerable lessons, the grades you had to take over again, the demotions as well as the promotions‚ the failures as well as the accomplishments‚ the blame, as well as the fame‚ the unseen labour, the unrealised thought, the hours, days, weeks, months, and years of prayerful planning, the blood, the sweat, the tears, the agony with the ecstasy—all that goes into the making of a leader!

21. LEADERS ARE MADE—NOT BORN! They're the brief and final end product of God's infinite care‚ designing and preparation!—Here today—and gone tomorrow! "For what is your life? It's but a vapor! It's here a little while and then it's gone." It takes so long to grow into the full bloom, the full fruit, of leadership—so that your actual brief span of leadership is short by comparison to the years of preparation! DON'T ENVY YOUR LEADERS!—PITY THEM!—PRAY FOR THEM!—HELP THEM! They need you! And don't desire leadership—unless God forces it on you! I dare say you'll not find a leader in the Bible who wanted to be a leader! Most of them tried to get out of the job! It takes too long—it's too hard—and you'll never get enough credit for it! But without them, God's Work can't go on!

22. JUST APPRECIATE THE END PRODUCT! Enjoy it! Follow it! Obey it! And help it! And be thankful you don't have to be one, until God makes you! Nearly every great leader in the Bible had to be pushed into it! Only in the folly of this world do men fight each other for fickle fame and fortune! Only in the sickening system of this world, do men struggle for power‚ position, riches, and glory—only to find that it doesn't satisfy! Like Alexander the Great, who, having conquered all the known world, died drunken and weeping that there were no more worlds to conquer! Or like Napoleon, who made all Europe to tremble at his feet, but died in exile, whimpering like a baby, just to have his boots pulled on, that he might die like a soldier! Or Caesar, whose friends stabbed him in the back at the pinnacle of fame! Or Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who was stricken by death at the peak of his popularity! All these died in vain! The elusive butterfly of fortune found them weighed in the balances and found wanting! They paid such an awful price for it, when it wasn't worth it. They sacrificed everything for it, only to discover it was ashes between their teeth! Husks...Husks...Husks...Like the Prodigal Son in the swinepit, whose life ended in defeat, his substance wasted in riotous living, with nothing left but the "husks that the swine did eat."—His Salvation only the mercy of God—and his reward lost to his brother! What a pitiful end product are the men of this world—and even the Christians who fail God! At least God's leaders, who pay the same price and make the same sacrifices, can look forward to eternal rewards and everlasting glory, and can die with a feeling of genuine permanent accomplishment, from a lifetime of investment in His Work, that will reap eternal dividends hereafter!

23. BUT YOU'LL NEVER KNOW WHAT THEY WENT THROUGH TO GET THERE—until you've gone through it yourself. And nobody in his right mind would ever do it for anybody but God and His Children! Most of your work is unseen and will never be known by anybody but God and you, and perhaps a few of those closest to you. Most of your sufferings, your sacrifices, and your years of labour, will never be appreciated in this life, nor realised by others until the rewards are handed out in Heaven, and the medals are pinned on at the Marriage Feast of the Lamb, and the cities are distributed in the Millenium.

24. YOU SAY‚ "LORD, WE ARE ABLE",—BUT YOU DON'T KNOW WHAT YOU'RE ASKING FOR! Just thank God for your leaders, and hope you never have to be one! Don't try to be a leader, unless you have to be! Don't desire leadership, unless God makes you lead—unless the time comes when you see the job that has to be done and there is nobody else to do it but you, and you know you have to do it!—It's God's will‚ God's plan, and you're ready—even if you don't feel like it!—Ready by the long preparation, planning‚ designing, and making of a man by the Hand of God. As Kipling said‚ "If you can meet success and failure, and treat these two imposters both the same ... then you'll be a man, my son."—Simply because you have the satisfaction of knowing you're doing the will of God—that you were made for the job—that you can't help it—you have to do it! He expects it of you! In the words of Alan Seeger, "God knows 'twere better far to be deep pillowed in silk and scented down, breath nigh to breath, and pulse to pulse, where love throbs out in blissful sleep: But we have a rendezvous with death!" That's what it costs to be a leader! "To live in fame‚ and die in flame."—Nothing can stop God's army air corps!—Even though sometimes they have to live in flame and die in shame before the world! We are God's expendables!—Created to burn out on His altar of sacrifice—made to wear out as His tools of design—to die, that you might live. For "no greater love hath any man than this‚ that a man lay down his life for his friends." We "die daily." We can only offer you an invitation to come and die with us—to die to the flesh that ye may live in the Spirit!

25. AFTER YEARS IN THE MAKING‚ PREPARATION, AND PLANNING, YOU MAY ONLY BE A BRIEF FLARE which lights up the landscape for but a moment in the heat of battle, that the victory may be won!—But that lifetime of preparation is worth it all—even if for only that "moment of truth" and recognition by the Lord—that moment of usefulness that you were designed for—that day when you stood in the gap—that hour when you met the need—that time when you fulfilled your mission—And you can hear His‚ "Well done, thou good and faithful servant! Enter thou into the joy of thy Lord!" All this—and Heaven, too!

26. YOU'LL NEVER APPRECIATE YOUR LEADERS TILL YOU HAVE TO JOIN THEM IN LEADERSHIP! You'll probably never fully appreciate God until we join Him in Glory and see what it really cost Him!—How much time it took, what infinite care and love and patience.—How much unseen labour went into the end product—little old insignificant you—and me! Praise His Name forever!" All glory and praise to the Lamb that was slain, who hath borne all our sins and hath cleansed every stain!"

27. "Wherefore, seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider Him that endured such contradiction of sinners against Himself‚ lest yet be wearied and faint in your minds. My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord‚ nor faint when thou art rebuked of Him: For whom the Lord loveth He chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom He receiveth." (Hebrews 12:1-3,5‚6).