Now the Lord said to Samuel, “How long will you mourn for Saul, seeing I have rejected him from reigning over Israel? Fill your horn with oil, and go; I am sending you to Jesse the Bethlehemite. For I have provided Myself a king among his sons.” (1 Sam 16:1)
It’s interesting how the call to greatness seems to always begin with a crisis. Behind every crisis is a call. Every crisis presents an opportunity for us to step out from the mundane and embrace our deeply seated, untapped, God-ordained greatness.
If Saul had walked in obedience to God, leading the nation the way he was instructed, perhaps we’d never have heard about David. But it was in the midst of the mess Saul had sank the kingdom into that God told the prophet to go and look for the next king. David was about to be catapulted from his boring life of fellowshipping with sheep to leading a nation.
We often lament about the way things are: spiritual emptiness, bad leadership, poverty, debilitating disease, illiteracy, violence and corruption. But we should also recognize that God is looking for men and women who are ready to look at these crises as opportunities for service, and therefore greatness. Jesus put it this way: if you want to be great, you’ve got to be a servant of all. Every crisis presents an opportunity to love and serve those affected, and those who dedicate their lives to serve others are walking the path of greatness.
Throughout history, crises have been the release mechanism for the greatness that lay quietly in many men and women. It was in the midst of a spiritual crisis in the Church that Martin Luther nailed those Ninety Five Theses on a church door in Wittenberg, unleashing the reformation and charting a new course for the church globally. His name is etched in history.
It was in the midst of the crisis of injustice and segregation that Martin Luther King Jr stepped up to lead the Civil Rights Movement. Though he never saw the fulfillment of his dream fully, he had beaten the path that would lead to the USA having the first black president only forty years later. His birthday is now a national holiday.
It was in the midst of a national leadership and political crisis in the seventies and early eighties that a young political activist called Yoweri Museveni started organizing and mobilizing people for change, leading a guerilla war that ousted the chaotic regimes of the time and ushering in a season of stability and development. Although things may have gradually changed over time, there is no denying that he and others changed the course of our nation. Uganda’s history will never be told without these people.
It was in the midst of incredible oppression by the British colonialists that a quiet man, Mahatma Gandhi, mobilized the masses for nonviolent resistance. India got its independence and he’s now venerated to almost god status.
Crises have always proved to be opportunities for some people. Technological challenges have spawned new inventions that have changed the way we live. The scarcity of certain goods and services in specific places or communities has been the catalyst for many businesses that have gone on to change their world, while making the owners very rich. After all, entrepreneurs are people who solve problems for a profit.
So, what crises or challenges exist in your family, workplace, community, city or nation? Could those be the green lights calling out to you to get moving into your destiny? Could it be that every single day you walk or drive past the very challenge that if responded to, is going to change many people’s lives, but especially yours? Could it be a long standing extended family feud that’s calling for you to be an agent of reconciliation? Could it be a person that was wrongly convicted and jailed that’s calling for you to seek justice? Could it be someone stranded because of tuition that’s calling for you to push them on in their studies? Is it a lousy education system that needs you to lead in setting up alternatives? Could it be the many unemployed young people that are pushing you to quit your job and set up businesses that create employment? Could it be the women who are delivering babies using torches and candles that’s calling for you to build proper, well-equipped health facilities? Could it be a financing gap in many businesses that needs provision of tailored credit for a specific clientele? We could go on and on, but I am sure you get the drift. Whatever it is, it’s your turn now.
Never let a crisis go to waste, for in it lies your call to greatness.
Excerpt from the book Called To Greatness by Moses Mukisa