Leadership Focus: Patience
Isaiah 28: 23-29 (NRSV)
23 Listen, and hear my voice;
Pay attention, and hear my speech.
24 Do those who plow for sowing plow continually?
Do they continually open and harrow their ground?
25 When they have leveled its surface,
do they not scatter dill, sow cummin,
and plant wheat in rows
and barley in its proper place,
and spelt as the border?
26 For they are well instructed;
their God teaches them.
27 Dill is not threshed with a threshing sledge,
nor is a cart wheel rolled over cummin;
but dill is beaten out with a stick,
and cummin with a rod.
28 Grain is crushed for bread,
but one does not thresh it forever;
one drives the cart wheel and horses over it,
but does not pulverize it.
29 This also comes from the Lord of hosts;
he is wonderful in counsel,
and excellent in wisdom.
The timeline of this pandemic and its economic consequences extends further and further into the future. Glib optimism has led to failed promises and crippling disappointments, undermining trust at a time when trust is essential.
Leaders need patience that places our hope in the slow, hidden work of God.
Our passage today comes at the end of Isaiah’s “Little Apocalypse” (Isaiah 24-27) describing a major catastrophe, with social and economic repercussions that sound eerily like our fragile times.
Then comes the imagery of the farmer who ploughs and harrows the ground — but only long enough to prepare the ground for new seeds to be sown. He threshes the grain in order to grind the flour to bake the bread. There is time-limited purpose in it all.
Patience is a hard lesson for a “click-and-collect-next-day-delivery” society.
What new Kingdom seeds are being planted into this newly ploughed ground?
Leadership learns the hope-anchored patience to wait for God.
We are not good at patience.
We want the quick answer.
We want to see the end game.
But you keep seeing eyes blind
Just long enough for us to lean on You
And be led, blindfold, on a different path.
Grant us Your patience,
Creating a universe one day at a time
Building a nation, one family at a time.
Shaping a people, one wilderness at a time,
Ploughing and sowing,
Breaking and building,
Promising and fulfilling,
In Your own good time.
When the time was right,
You sent Your Son, our Saviour,
the Patient One,
Who waited till his hour had come
And calls us to wait on tiptoe for His Coming Kingdom.
Our eyes are on You as we wait. AMEN