Many of my close friends know I’m a big fan of the television show Madam Secretary. It’s a show that makes me think about global issues while enjoying the entertainment factor of the relationships and characters portrayed. I finished watching the season’s finale that ended with a memorial at Arlington Cemetery. While I’m prone to tearing up over a television show—or even a sentimental commercial—I found myself once again with wet eyes considering those who have given their lives for our country.
Today, many of you will mark Memorial Day by celebrating the beginning of summer. You’ll hit the pool, grill some burgers, and not think twice about the reason you have a day off from work. Some of you will visit memorials of those who have passed away. It will be a time of remembering their contributions and investment in your life.
As a leader, we have the same choices to make on a daily basis. We can carelessly and playfully go about our days enjoying the freedoms for which others have fought. But that would be a mistake, and dare I say, unbiblical.
The Bible is full of examples of memorials and markers. For instance, God gave us a marker after the flood. He set a rainbow in the sky to remind us He would not destroy the earth again. Noah responded with a memorial. It wasn’t just a stone, but an altar. There was a sacrifice. It was a costly reminder that a better sacrifice was coming.
On Jacob’s journey to Paddan Aram, God marked his life with a dream and a promise for his future. Jacob responded by creating a memorial, a reminder of God’s presence. It wouldn’t be the last time God marked Jacob. When he returned twenty years later in Genesis 32, Jacob wrestled with God and was marked with a limp—a reminder of his struggle with God. The memorial was calling the place Peniel—the place where he met God face to face and his life was spared.
Memorials and markers. We should all take time to reflect on them. So, today, let’s consider those who have gone before us and how they marked our lives and our leadership—women like Elisabeth Elliot, Amy Carmichael, and Lottie Moon.
Who has marked your leadership journey? Who do you need to remember today? Don’t casually miss the opportunity to thank the Lord for them and for how He used them in kingdom work. And continue to run the leadership race set before you as you pave the way for future generations of women leaders to come. May you lead with courage and with grace. May you be remembered someday not for what you’ve done, but for those whose lives you’ve invested in for eternity.
Kelly King is the Women’s Ministry Specialist for LifeWay Christian Resources and oversees the YOU Lead events. Join her this year and get to know her heart for ministry leaders. Follow her on Twitter @kellydking.