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Low-Life Exiled Son of a Hooker

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A Leadership Story You Never Heard in Sunday School

lf-01112013Jeff, son of Gil, was a fighter. Jeff’s mom was a prostitute—which deeply embarrassed Jeff’s brothers. Jeff’s brothers—born of Gil’s wife—told Jeff in no uncertain terms he was different, not up to par, had no share in the family business and had to go. So he did: Jeff moved off to a different country. In that different country he attracted all sorts of has-beens, slackers and ne’er do wells. Jeff’s low-life friends went out and did their low-life stuff together.

Years passed. Jeff’s brothers took power and a neighboring nation declared war on them. So they called Jeff to lead the attack. Jeff said, “Why? I thought you hated me.”

[under their breath: we still do you son of a…and maybe we hate you even more now but] “Come be our leader.”

So he did. He proved to be a hot-head and prone to rash vows, but Jeff first tried to reason with the opposing army. When that didn’t work, he went and busted them, which did work. But in the process he vowed something very precious to win the battle. It was a promise he would deeply regret and remains entirely barbaric today (hint: don’t wager treasures from your own home).

I read this story a few days back and it reminded me that all sorts of people get enlisted to lead us forward. My favorite ancient text points to a leadership tree composed of a family of deceivers, a tongue-tied retiree, a prostitute,  and this son of a prostitute—just for starters. One thing these losers had in common, even beyond a sense of calling, was trust in some One larger than themselves as they faced a need way out of proportion to their tool box.

So…just because you don’t have what it takes to move your team or family or people forward, doesn’t mean you should not consider the task. Look for a way to trust, which seems a good way to proceed, given the frailty of our human condition.


Image credit: Thom Ang via Frank T. Zumbachs Mysterious World

Written by kirkistan

January 11, 2013 at 10:20 am

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