The Rear-View Mirror of Leadership

It has been said that hindsight is always 20-20. For me, the physical representation of that idea is the rear-view mirror. Most often, this unheralded piece of equipment is primarily used to keep a look at what is going on behind you for ensuring safety with current decisions. But have you ever thought about the rear-view mirror of your life that can be used for effective leadership in your own decisions or in your classroom?

Photo courtesy of Michal Marcol |
Photo courtesy of Michal Marcol |

In a prior post, I was reflecting on successfully navigating decisions in life – specifically with my own vocation. I am pleased to report that this phase of my transition is nearing an end, as God has provided me with a new calling that fits my gifts, passions, and abilities. And for that I am both content and grateful.

But in having compelling leadership that others are drawn to follow, the “rear-view mirror” is not just to see what is behind me in making safe decisions for the present. Rather, this view to the rear is helpful in looking at the road traveled, the detours that were taken, the unexpected stops along the way, and the lessons learned.

For me, it has been about 10 weeks of looking back. When this new opportunity was accepted and made official this past week, I was happy for what lay ahead but was not over the top with excitement because I now had a job. Nor did it feel like a huge weight was now off of my shoulders. That may sound odd and I do not mean it to be, but I wanted to share a few thoughts that may assist you in your own leadership through transition.

During my ten weeks of seeking and waiting, there were several high mountains of anxiety for what lay ahead and low valleys of despair when it seemed sure roads were now closed. Now that this season of waiting is over, I look back in my own mirror and see that God, through His process, lowered my mountains and filled in my valleys – in other words, the life path took on a different look for me. And here is what I saw: a different me.

I am a big fan of the Psalms and today our pastor gave a stirring message from Psalm 63. Read how David felt:

Because your steadfast love is better than life, my lips will praise you.

What did I realize? That God is enough – not the getting of a job. Pursuit of Him is better than the job search being over. Ten weeks were not needed because God needed all that time. It was me. I needed a lesson in what really satisfies the soul.

Don’t get me wrong – I am thrilled a new moment has arrived that meets the needs of my family and fits my niche. It just is that the view in the mirror has shown me the pursuit of the job is not the center of my world. It is God.

A long look in my own rear-view mirror has provided me some much-needed lessons in how to effectively lead my own life. How will you use yours in leading others?


2 thoughts on “The Rear-View Mirror of Leadership

  1. Glad that God has given you a place to serve that fits your needs and niche!

    I had a totally different way of being sent to look in the rear-view mirror of my life. We recently had a house fire and many things became disorganized in the cleaning process. Once school ended and there was more time to re-organize, I got busy. I came across a paper I had written for some reason in 1989-1990. I could narrow the dates from the content and missing content of the paper. It was entitled “Testimony of Miracles”. In it I shared my salvation testimony and then highlights of Christian growth up to that time.

    As I looked back at where God had taken me in my Christian walk up until that time, the reflection helped me to see more clearly where I am heading now. THe mountains that God had leveled in the first 15 years of my walk with Him, still carry me on today–those lessons sunk in well! I also have learned new things in the last 25 years of my walk and can see, in my rear-view mirror, how God has led me and sustained me and been all I needed–all along the way.

    I’m thankful God has the times of reflection in our lives that help us grow and sing His praises all the more.

    Thanks for sharing your life with us.

  2. Thanks so much for your comment, Vicki. And I appreciate your testimony that you shared – good words. And I am so sorry to hear about your house fire! Did it do much damage? That had to be very hard to work through.

    Thankful for how God leads us to where we want to get, but often just do not realize it.

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