Lead the Way

In my work life, I am confronted with quite a lot of statistical information concerning the market that my company serves. I operate a non-profit transit company that provides para transit services along with a host of municipal buses, shuttles, and other specialized transport. This is challenging as inflationary pressures continue to impact all of us. Fuel costs, labor rates, insurance: all these things challenge any company, and the result can be reducing services to live within a budget.

This is just reality. However, here in Colorado, we are facing a unique problem. For the first time in our state’s history, the number of people over 65 years of age far exceeds those under 18. Of course, this sets up significant economic challenges for a growing state. Income tax revenue will decline while demand for elder services is increasing at a dramatic pace. There simply will not be enough money to provide care for our seniors.

In my job, we provide transportation for many seniors in an 8-county region here along the Front Range of Colorado. Trips for seniors include the obvious medical appointments, but also include grocery shopping, trips to senior centers and social events. Unfortunately, government funding for such needs has been declining due to shrinking revenues.

Our state government is focused on building a railroad from Fort Collins to Pueblo along Interstate 25. At the same time, state officials are discussing other very costly capital plans. These are not inherently negative projects to focus on, however, they will come as a tradeoff to needs like the senior services I’ve mentioned.

I write all of this as a prelude to stating that it occurred to me that in my line of work, as a leader in this industry, I need to do more to influence this issue. This means, speaking for those who cannot do so.

Millions of dollars are being programmed on visionary projects but sadly, seniors will be unable to get to dialysis and chemotherapy appointments. When I speak on this matter, I may not make those in power pleased.  However, we who are called by God to follow Him understand that there will be moments when we must calmly and appropriately stand up for that which we know to be right and moral. We must never do so with our own ambition or a self-righteous attitude. When we consider our actions, we should be guided by Scripture. Proverbs 3:5-6, provides excellent guidance: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.”

This must guide our actions as we interact with the structures of this world. As we know, they are not godly entities, yet they are allowed to exist by God, and we are required by Him to submit to these authorities unless this would compromise our obedience to God.

Our approach must be to focus on prayer and on the problem, and not the people we are interacting with. Titus gives us good guidance in relation to submitting to the ministry of the Church, and the same guidance is beneficial in our dealings at work. Titus 1:7-9 states: “For a bishop (other translations use the word elder or overseer, instead of bishop) must be blameless, as a steward of God, not self-willed, not quick-tempered, not given to wine, not violent, not greedy for money,  but hospitable, a lover of what is good, sober-minded, just, holy, self-controlled, holding fast the faithful word as he has been taught, that he may be able, by sound doctrine, both to exhort and convict those who contradict.” This is fundamentally a description of leadership, and if we wish to make progress in our efforts, accepting this advice is paramount.

In the example I began with, I know that the State’s leaders are eagerly working on their priorities. However, I also know that they care about the elders in our state who are in a troubling situation. There simply is not enough money or resources to achieve all the priorities. This is a common dilemma, and for true Christians, we can rely on God to show us the path we must follow to do His will. We see this illustrated in Romans 12:2: “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.”

In our interactions at work and in our communities, if we live by this direction, we are more likely to influence those around us. Not by self-righteousness, but by living as God intends, having our mind renewed by the commandments, and serving as an example to those we encounter. If helping our elders can be properly elevated by the example of our actions and priorities, we can raise the issue more effectively.

Jesus Christ provided the very best example of how we who are called by God must live. In John 13:12-15, we have the record of Jesus as our servant leader, and we read: “So when He had washed their feet, taken His garments, and sat down again, He said to them, ‘Do you know what I have done to you? You call Me Teacher and Lord, and you say well, for so I am.  If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that you also should do as I have done to you.’”

As humans, we can never match the example that Jesus established for us—however, we can strive for this.

In Galatians 6:9, we see the admonition of continuing to work for good and being the example that God intends: “And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.”

I am thinking about the task ahead of me, and I know that if I follow God’s commandments, I will have done my job.

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