My little dog, Sophie, has been sick off and on for the last six weeks. Last week when I took her to the vet, they ran some tests to discover that she had pancreatitis. It is a very painful disorder that required her to stay over night at the "hospital" to get things under control. Once a dog has pancreatitis, they are likely to get it again, unless you change their diet. She now has a low fat food that is made to be easier to digest. No more people food...at all.
As we drive back and forth to the church I work in, often I would share little bits of my food with her. She's not really interested in too many people things but she did like meat. Yesterday when I was eating some sausage links and my eggs on the way to work, she perked up in the backseat with the sweetest little face. It was like she saying, "Ok, I'm ready for my share of your breakfast....any time now...." I had to say to her sweet little face that she couldn't have any. It would make her sick.
It's true that often the things we want are not good for us. I think this is probably very true of my relationship with God. I'm wanting, pleading sometimes, for things that God just knows is not the best for me or that this is not the right time for.
This is true in leadership as well. Often as a leader, we get a lot of pressure to give the people we are leading what they want. A good leader, however, can recognize that what a group really needs may not be what they want most. A good leader is willing to stand in the anxiety between desire and need, even if it is more difficult. I have said that sometimes a leader can measure their effectiveness by the increase of passive agressive behavior in the organization.
May we have the wisdom and discernment to recognize what others need and the courage to offer only that....no matter how unpopular that is.