When you face a crisis, seek counsel from someone who has faced a similar challenge. Ask friends to pray. Look for resources. Reach out to a support group. Most importantly, make a plan.
Management guru Jim Collins has some good words here. He and Morten T. Hansen studied leadership in turbulent times. They looked at more than twenty thousand companies, sifting through data in search of an answer to this question:
“Why in uncertain times do some companies thrive while others do not?”
They concluded, “[Successful leaders] are not more creative. They’re not more visionary. They’re not more charismatic. They’re not more ambitious. They’re not more blessed by luck. They’re not more risk-seeking. They’re not more heroic. And they’re not more prone to making big, bold moves.” Then what sets them apart?
“They all led their teams with a surprising method of self-control in an out-of-control world.”
In the end, it’s not the flashy and flamboyant who survive. It is those with steady hands and sober minds.
People like Roald Amundsen. In 1911, he headed up the Norwegian team in a race to the South Pole. Robert Scott directed a team from England. The two expeditions faced identical challenges and terrain. They endured the same freezing temperatures and unforgiving environment. They had equal access to the technology and equipment of their day. Yet Amundsen and his team reached the South Pole thirty-four days ahead of Scott. What made the difference?
Amundsen was a tireless strategist. He had a clear strategy of traveling fifteen to twenty miles a day. Good weather? Fifteen to twenty miles. Bad weather? Fifteen to twenty miles. No more. No less. Always fifteen to twenty miles.
Scott, by contrast, was irregular. He pushed his team to exhaustion in good weather and stopped in bad. The two men had two different philosophies and, consequently, two different outcomes. Amundsen won the race without losing a man. Scott lost not only the race but also his life and the lives of all his team members. All for the lack of a plan.
You’d prefer a miracle for your crisis? You’d rather see the bread multiplied or the stormy sea turned to glassy calm in a finger snap? God may do this. Then, again, He may tell you, “I’m with you. I can use this for good. Now, let’s make a plan.” Trust Him to help you.
God’s sovereignty doesn’t negate our responsibility. [tweet this] Just the opposite. It empowers it. When we trust God, we think more clearly and react more decisively. [tweet this] Like Nehemiah, who said,
We prayed to our God and posted a guard day and night to meet this threat. – Nehemiah 4:9
We prayed… and posted. We trusted and acted.
Excerpted with permission from God Will Carry You Through by Max Lucado, copyright Thomas Nelson, 2013.
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Do you worry excessively in uncertain times? Do you have a tendency to be a planner who is steady and regular, or not a planner who goes in fits and starts irregularly? Join the conversation on our blog! We would love to hear from you! ~ Devotionals Daily