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Needed -- A Few Good Men (published in The Herald/Voice 8/30/12)

posted Sep 7, 2013, 1:17 PM by Fccea Webmaster
A lovely rich girl falls for a poor beggar. He fears she only sees him as a reformation project and agrees to marry her only if she will travel the world with him, begging from house to house. She reluctantly agrees, they marry and begin their world begging tour. At the tour's end, the beggar says, "Well, Darling, you've proven yourself. Let's go home. No more begging." "Fine," says his wife. "But first, let's finish this row of houses."

The point is, we all have influence, consciously or unconsciously. How much better to lead with purpose and clarity. The truth is, our culture craves effective, selfless leadership, especially among men -- many of whom have abdicated.

How important is this? Edmund Burke famously reminded us, "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing." That's a sobering thought.

Many qualities go into making an effective leader, but foremost among those is a firm knowledge of one's own strengths, weaknesses, abilities and values. And -- a willingness to go against the crowd.

On the third floor of the Smithsonian's American History Museum in Washington, DC, there stands a stuffed horse named Rienzi. Who was Rienzi and how did he get there? Well, Rienzi belonged to Civil War General Philip Sheridan.

Rienzi got into the museum because one morning late in the war Sheridan's Union army was surprised by Confederate troops in the Shenandoah Valley and began a hasty retreat. Sheridan was 20 miles away in Winchester, VA when he heard the sound of battle. After an exhausting ride, he and Rienzi arrived just in time to rally the Union troops to stop their retreat, and to turn and follow their leader into battle, turning a rout into a stunning victory.

Sheridan knew who he was, what he could do and was willing to go against the tide.

Men of our community have an opportunity to prepare for such leadership. A chapter of Men's Fraternity, a group of community men dedicated to doing something, not nothing, will be meeting again this year at 6:00 AM on Thursday mornings at the Congregational Church (corner of 2nd and Cheyenne) to challenge each other to be the best we can be. Everyone is welcome.

The program consists of a great breakfast, watching a 40-minute video aimed at helping identify our strengths, weaknesses and purpose in life, and a brief period of interaction. No one is put on the spot, but leaders are being built. We urge you to be there.

A corollary to Burke's comment is that when good men do nothing, they are no longer good. Come and join a group of good men seeking to get better and make a difference.

By His Grace, Pastor Dave