Proverbs 11:14 “Where there is no counsel, the people fall; But in the multitude of counselors there is safety.”
The last time I had an opportunity to speak with you, I shared about what it means to be the People of The Path. Today I wanted to flesh this out even more. And I want to offer you a challenge. I want to encourage you to think about who you follow on the path and who might be behind you. Whether you have been here for 40 days or 40 years, you are called to have both. If you are not being mentored or you do not mentor another, my challenge is that you find these.
I have heard several really good sermons about a blessing from the Mishnah and other Jewish teachings that goes something like this: “May you be covered in the dust of your Rabbi.” Basically, what they were saying to disciples was “follow your teacher close enough that the dust from their sandals kicks up all over you.” IF you don’t have one, find a mentor and get up close so that you can learn.
And then ask yourself, who is covered with my dust and what does that dust look like? Everyone in this room is a leader. It is the leader’s job to ensure that there is a student behind them. If you find yourself always blaming the student for not being behind you, then you are not a very effective leader. If your dust is heavy and bitter than the student will not follow. It is your job to encourage them through the tough obstacles along The Path. After all, you are out in front and will recognize many of the barriers.
One last thing: Team Members are not their function. While leading certainly has an element of insuring that people are equipped with the right tools and training, I am talking more about the human aspect of leadership. Your mentor is surly someone you respect because of his or her character. I would bet that you follow the person you do not only because of their skill, but also because he or she has certain qualities that you want. Beyond their competency, you are likely impressed by their integrity, their humility, and their grit. If you want others to be covered in your dust, you have to display these things as well. And that is my prayer for you as you lead others on The Path.