When Charlie is hungry, he is obnoxious. He puts his stick paws on my leg and pleads with me to drop a scrap like he hasn't eaten in weeks. But Charlie is a fat and little Papillion, well fed and content in every imaginable way.
Hungry yet full.
"The dogs have a mighty appetite; they never have enough" (Isaiah 56:11)
In this verse, Isaiah is referring to Israel's leaders who lacked wisdom. These guys went after their own interests and apparently chugged wine while slurring about how great tomorrow would be. These guys were like Charlie: hungry yet full.
The greatest tyranny of the human soul is to think we are missing out and that God is holding out on us. See Adam and Eve. We think this box that God made for us is too small and if we only broke free there would be exuberance, but we don't realize that we aren't in a box and looking to something besides God for joy is death camp.
What are implications of leading like my beloved Charlie?
First, a foolish leader will not represent her people well. Caught in the snare of selfish interest a foolish leader will tarry long over personal agenda and how constituents can serve them. Leading by position and power creates distrust and inefficiency.
Second, a hungry dog leader will be desperate. When things go bad - and they will - a hungry dog leader will freak out with their hair on fire. When we yearn for composed, resolute leadership this type of leader will just make matters worse.
Third, a leader who lacks contentment in the Lord will probably trample on others looking for that thing that satisfies like a crazed Black Friday shopper. If I have no peace and grace from Jesus I certainly cannot offer you any. I can only offer angst if that's all I have.
The key to compassionate, loving leadership in any arena (politics, business, the home) is deep faith in Jesus, a full belly of grace. On airplanes they tell you to put on your oxygen mask before you can help anyone else - that's what I am talking about.
Photo credit: Momo via Flickr