Next week I’m going on my annual trip to Missouri. I’ve been deer hunting there for years and have some wonderful friends there. My memories are many. I think about everything from the times of extreme weather (one time I hunted without a shirt) to trying to find my lost deer with a famous deer dog, that happened to be a dachshund. I can remember seeing some monster bucks just out of range and missing some within range. But no matter what the past held; I still look forward to going back each year. My present memory, however, is one of only a couple of years ago. I was a few weeks away from knee surgery to repair a torn meniscus. My memory is of constant pain, especially as I walked to and from my tree stand. Even though the walks were not long, the effort it took to make them seemed especially difficult and slow. As I made those trips each day, I was always reminded of a title to a book I saw one time. It was called “Leading With A Limp.” And while I never read that book (I probably should) I imagined a plethora of subjects the author might be trying to convey. Here’s what leading with a limp means to me.
It means every leader is imperfect. We have difficulties, inabilities, failures, discouragements, disappointments, and insecurities. And while none of these stop us, they cripple us enough to cause us to lean on something we could not do without. They also humble us, making us realize the possibility of any success comes from places beyond ourselves. Limping leadership also slows us done in order to make sure we never outpace those we are called to lead. After all, leaders are only leaders if they have followers. And Limping leaders love more because we become more patient and understanding with everyone else’s disability. Our example of this kind of leadership in the New Testament is Paul. He had a limp and asked God to take it away. God didn’t for some of the same reasons I mention above. Here’s how Paul recalls his prayer.
Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. (2 Corinth 12:8-10 NIV)
It is believed Paul wrote most of the New Testament. He did it with a limp. That means your limp does not disqualify you. It is the most important part of your resume.
Gary has written the Outdoor Truths article for 20 years. He has also written four books which include compilations of his articles and a father/son devotional. He also speaks at wild-game dinners and men’s events for churches and associations