The One at the Top
I would like to suggest that someone being at the top, in charge, overseeing, is a natural phenomenon. It occurs throughout life in all kinds of situations. We see a whole lot of vying or jockeying for position with being at the top as the ultimate goal – from the schoolyard to the workplace to the worlds’ capitals. Is it the natural order of things? I say yes.
Now, don’t go ballistic on me. I can explain and hopefully address the concerns we all might have about someone being over us, in charge as it were. We’ve all seen abuse of this power at every level. The saying “Absolute power corrupts absolutely” comes to mind.
People’s reasons for wanting to be top dog vary. There are those who do want to use that position to oppress those below. That’s always been a risk.
But, natural and even spiritual order has always assumed there would be someone in power, whether on a large or small scale. Come on. When parents aren’t in charge at home, we all see the destructive chaos roaming the streets as a result.
The larger the endeavor, the more necessary it is that someone be in charge. I want to qualify that I am not suggesting that a lone person bear all the weight of leadership. I do believe he or she does carry the mantle – the responsibility and power – but all wisdom demands that leaders surround themselves with strong people, wise counselors. It is from the strength of a team that the leader is empowered to lead. But lead he or she must.
In the time of Moses, we know the story of how his team was the priesthood and all the tribal leaders. We also know that his authority was challenged by Aaron and others. They rightfully noted that God also spoke to them, but they did not acknowledge that it was Moses who was put in place by God, thus he could speak with him face to face and not die. Moses was anointed to be their leader.
So, today I heard a suggestion that religious entities such as churches, synagogues should not have a single leader at the top, but rather the rule be by large committee – a team. As I have said, a strong team is absolutely imperative for all kinds of reasons, but all of creation indicates someone has to have the final say so.
I have noted through the years that when the going gets tough, the “tough” get lost. What I mean is the person who is “called” – by God or by an organization – to lead can’t just walk away when things go wonky. A team can dissipate and often does. I contend that the leader does bear responsibility, but I also believe the leader has been imbued with the power to accomplish the needed results.
I, for one, am glad that it’s not a committee that will be in charge at the end of days. I am happy that the One called – who happens to be flawless – will be righteous toward us as we “shuffle off this mortal coil.”
I don’t envy those at the top. The mantle of any kind of leadership is weighty. Just looking at the various leader roles I have held in life – parenting being the toughest – I am so grateful for those who lay it all on the line to lead. Our job is to hold up their arms so they can continue to beseech the powers that be on our behalf.
Written on June 27, 2018