The Committed Leader – Part 3
Last week I shared with you the inspiring story of Thomas Edison. But the story I shared has an ending that many people have never heard.
That Edison was committed is not in doubt, but that commitment was tested when he was 67 years old in an incident surrounding his world-famous lab in New Jersey. This impressive 14 building complex spanned the length of three football fields. The complex was Edison’s crowning jewel and he truly loved the place. It was commonly known that Edison would often fall asleep on a lab table, perfectly content and feeling right at home.
But in December of 1914, this beloved research lab caught on fire. And given the materials contained in such a facility, this was not just any old fire. The impressive flames lit up the sky for miles around. It would be natural to think that Edison would be crushed by such a disaster, especially at his age. But on the contrary, on the night of the fire, Thomas Edison was quoted as saying to his children, “Kids, go get your mother. She’ll never see another fire like this one!”
Edison would go on to rebuild his lab facility and work for another 17 years before retiring. “I am long on ideas and short on time. I expect to live to be only about a hundred,” he would say. Edison would not live to be 100 but died, instead, at the age of 84. And what he packed into his 84 years surpasses most of us. Why? Because the man understood commitment.
Consider for a moment what Jesus was able to pack into his 33 years on earth. He accomplished no less than the salvation of mankind. In the process, he founded the Church which has withstood the changing winds of time and become the number one instrument of God to change the world.
Jesus Christ knew commitment. He knew how to practice it and to identify it in others. In his journeys, Jesus would encounter four types of people when it comes to commitment.
1. Cop-outs – people with no goals and who do not commit
2. Hold-outs – people afraid to commit: the rich young ruler
3. Drop-outs – people who start but then quit: Judas
4. All-outs – people who set goals, commit and pay the price: the disciples
So, which one are you? How do you measure your commitment as a spouse, parent, worker, Christian…leader?
Proverbs 16:3 (ESV)
Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be established.
“Lord, I commit my work to you…all out. Amen.”