“Beware of practicing your righteousness before other people in order to be seen by them, for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 6:1).
Buckley Air Force Base is twelve miles from our house. This means that frequently we are on a flight pattern for fighter jets taking off. The roar is unmistakable: powerful and fierce.
While the noise created from the powerful jet engines is captivating, the visual image of the airplane is illusive. The reason for this is simple. When I am interrupted by the sound of a fighter, I immediately look to the location where I am hearing the sound. The problem is that the incredible speed of the airplane propels it well ahead of the sound. If I’m chasing the airplane by following the sound, I’ll never catch up.
The flight path of the jet precedes the auditory impact that it leaves. The airplane is “gone” by the rime we recognize its presence.
I’m convinced that this description matches well the life lived by Jesus … and it instructs our lives as well.
The powerful force of Jesus’ earthly existence – the sonic boom of His love, His teaching, and His behavior – roared through history long after His image was gone, long after His body ascended into the eternal presence of His Father.
Godly. honorable, humble leaders are most distinctly known by the intensity of the roar that trails behind a life well lived.
If you look at the profound impact that significant leaders have had throughout history, the sound will most often be far from the individuals themselves. The transformation trails behind. Real change lingers behind the catalyst that creates it.
A leader who expects the noise to surround his or her life is not really interested in progress. He or she is interested in fame and recognition. A servant leader understands and expects that it will be long after he or she is gone that people will most appreciate the full impact and force of his or her life.
It’s not until Jesus announces, “Well done, good and faithful servant” (Matthew 25:21) that the sound will catch up to the image – when the lag time is gone, when the invisible is brought to light.
Find joy in living a life that creates a roar miles and miles behind you.
Excerpt from: Fragments: God’s Pattern in Life’s Pieces