When I was an instructor at the US Army’s Mountain Ranger Camp, we spent much of our time training the Ranger students at night. Now if you’re imagining a lighted classroom with a whiteboard, you’re a little off. The training was done in the heavily forested North Georgia Mountains. Sometimes the vegetation was so thick you would have to crawl through the underbrush on your hands and knees. (Every Ranger graduate will cringe at the mention of “Mountain Laurel”) This was tough on both student and instructor especially at night when there was no moon light. We called these nights “Zero Illumination.” Tripping over every stump, being grabbed by every branch, and being unexpectedly stuck in the eye four or five times a night made for a torturous trek up and down the mountains. (Obviously this is before every soldier had the luxury of having night vision goggles) It was slow, painful, and maddening. Unless of course, we had moonlight on a cloudless night. This was a rare treat to be able to move without going through nature’s gauntlet. And in the winter time, with no leaves on the trees and a full moon, it was pure heaven. It was almost as easy as walking in the woods during the day.
No wonder ancient people (and some contemporary) worshiped the moon. It’s beauty is majestic. It’s flight across the star glittered sky is magnificent. And it’s illumination on nights you rather not stumble around in the dark, essential! But its well worth reminding ourselves that the moon is the moon and not the sun. The brilliance of the moon is merely a reflection. The moon has no inherent light of its own. It’s just mirroring the glory of the Sol.
I see direct parallels between a well lit moon and spiritual leadership. As leaders, we are to be mirrors of the Son’s glory. We have no inherent glory in ourselves, no light but that which is given to us by God. We must acknowledge our proper place in the spiritual solar system of the kingdom. We can make two very dangerous mistakes;
1. Esteeming a leader so much that they distract us from Jesus Christ. Or even worse…
2. Letting others esteem us so much we become a distraction ourselves.
Either way we create a “SOULAR Eclipse” (Pun intended) What do I mean?
When the earth totally blocks the light of the sun from the moon, its known as a lunar eclipse.
When the moon gets in the way of the sun’s light, its known as a solar eclipse.
And when a spiritual leader gets in the way of the Son’s light, its known as a “Soular Eclipse” (as stated in my little dictionary of made up words).
When we as spiritual leaders begin to eclipse the glory of Jesus Christ by taking it for ourselves or let others put us on a pedestal, not only is our soul in danger but the souls of those we are trying to lead toward Christ.
So let’s answer three questions;
- What does a “Soular Eclipse” look like?
- What are some good examples of spiritual leadership in the Bible?
- What should I do to keep from becoming a “Soular Eclipse?”
To be continued…