This past week my family and I spent a few days at the beach on vacation. I once again had the sensation of smallness. I am not talking about a feeling of insignificance-but smallness. This is a matter of perspective. Every leader needs to feel small occasionally.
The tendency in all leadership positions is towards being big. In our broken state we lean toward grandeur. All leadership comes with necessary power and authority-but that very power and authority can become intoxicating. Grandeur is an illusion, not reality. For there is only One who is truly Grand. And we are not He. Read Isaiah 40:12-17.
Who has measured the waters in the hollow of his hand
and marked off the heavens with a span,
enclosed the dust of the earth in a measure
and weighed the mountains in scales
and the hills in a balance?
Who has measured the Spirit of the Lord,
or what man shows him his counsel?
Whom did he consult,
and who made him understand?
Who taught him the path of justice,
and taught him knowledge,
and showed him the way of understanding?
Behold, the nations are like a drop from a bucket,
and are accounted as the dust on the scales;
behold, he takes up the coastlands like fine dust.
Lebanon would not suffice for fuel,
nor are its beasts enough for a burnt offering.
All the nations are as nothing before him,
they are accounted by him as less than nothing and emptiness.
The greatness of God is being personified in these verses in such a way that we are overcome with His “bigness.” And we should be overcome also with a sense of our “smallness.” That is the design of the passage. In v.23 we also read, “. . . who brings princes to nothing, and makes the rulers of the earth as emptiness.”
As leaders we are in constant need of perspective. If we are to serve, shepherd and steward well then we must maintain our proper sense of smallness.