“I will exalt you, O LORD, for you lifted me out of the depths and did not let my enemies gloat over me. O LORD my God, I called to you for help and you healed me. O LORD, you brought me up from the grave; you spared me from going down into the pit. Sing to the LORD, you saints of his; praise his holy name. For his anger lasts only a moment, but his favor lasts a lifetime; weeping may remain for a night, but rejoicing comes in the morning (Psalm 30:1-5).”
Whoever thought of putting TV’s in front of treadmills in a gym is a genius. Works for me!
Last night I was on the treadmill and caught the last several minutes of “Survivor Nicaragua”. I am not a fan of the “Survivor” series, but Jimmy Johnson, the renowned former coach of the Dallas Cowboys, was a contestant, so I was intrigued.
What caught my interest was that Jimmy’s tribal mates were not so enamored with him. One guy in particular seemed jealous of the old ball coach. Some of their attitudes smacked of age discrimination. (Johnson is 67, and truth be told, he did look pretty drawn in this episode.)
The moderator of the contest played up the leadership skills of the old coach. However, it seems his tribe were not of the same view. One technology executive was gunning for JJ, wanting him gone “so pe0ple will lose their daddy.”
What was obvious was that this man didn’t have a problem with there being a poppa; it was just he wanted to be “IT”. He had earlier groaned,”Why did we get stuck with a celebrity on our team.”
As the tribe met around the fire and voted who was going to go, it was clear Jimmy was in danger. As the cards were revealed, they read “JJ, J. Johnson, Jimmy…”. Johnson was voted off. As he left, he turned in a curmudgeonly fashion and said to the group,”One of you win a million bucks!”.
To me this was true leadership. Though he was ousted, Coach wished his team well.
When you are a leader, you are a target. Followers will grumble and resist. Your body and mind will also not be happy with the stress. If you are a spiritual leader, it’s even worse because there is an immensely strong and evil enemy out there wanting to take you out. His name is Satan.
As a Washington Redskins fan, there is no love lost between me and Jimmy Johnson. Still, I felt sorry for the man last night because of the attitude of his teammates.
Here they had one of the great coaches of our time on their team, what the shows moderator called “a proven leader”, and they ditched him. They were shown to be what they are: fools.
I suppose the outcome was to be expected. When you have dopes as followers, you can expect a bad result.
Solomon said,”As dead flies give perfume a bad smell, so a little folly outweighs wisdom and honor…Even as he walks along the road, the fool lacks sense and shows everyone how stupid he is (Ecclesiastes 10:1,3).”
The actions of his tribe wreaked of bad judgment. It reflected the worst aspects of democracy.
When everyone has a vote, and the people are fools, they rule the day and turn it black. Solomon didn’t think much of this possibility:
” There is an evil I have seen under the sun,
the sort of error that arises from a ruler:
Fools are put in many high positions,
while the rich occupy the low ones (Ecclesiastes 10:5,6).”
Considering what he was dealing with, being kicked off the show was probably a life saver for Johnson. He said during the episode I watched, ” I have been through two-a-days (practices) both as a player and a coach, and I have never gone through anything like this.”
After being voted off, Johnson said, “I had fun, but I was miserable the whole time. I still love the game, and it’s been a great adventure. This is the most stressful time I’ve ever gone through in my life, and I’m including Super Bowls and collegiate national championships.”
When Johnson woke up the next morning in a nice bed, he was probably grateful. He had been delivered from a bad situation all around which was sapping him of his health.
Thankfully, the Christian life is not the “Survivor” show. It may seem like it at times, but the good news is that we don’t have a fool as our Ruler.
We are led by a righteous God who knows when we have had enough. The aposte Paul wrote that ancient Israel (the people of God) didn’t believe this in their trials, and rebelled against Him. They engaged in immorality and grumbled at the Lord.
Paul noted that the punishment God dealt out to these foolish people occurred in order that those of us who came later would have an example to follow. The message is to hang on and stand firm. If we do, God will provide a way of escape, as He did with Coach Johnson (I Corinthians 10:1-13).
God’s a great Leader of leaders and for followers,too. He knows when it’s time for leaders to get taken out of survivor mode, and He he knows how to handle rebellious followers.
The difference between the Christian life and the “Survivor” show is that, thankfully, God has the only vote. I’m glad about that!