Until the first arrow hits
|Image Source: Connor Dugan|
One of my favourite fantasy stories of all time is called The Wheel of Time by Robert Jordan.
I have recently been re-reading the series and came across a quote by an army general which really inspired me:
"The best of plans last only until the first arrow hits, but a determined, unyielding commander can bring order to chaos by the way he holds himself."
- Rodel Ituralde (The Towers of Midnight)
Most leaders would agree that planning ahead is important.
It is quite common, and natural, to put plans in place to try and ensure the best possible outcome in certain situations.
The problem is that no matter how well we formulate our plans and think through all the possible scenarios we might encounter, something could always go wrong that could render our plans completely useless.
One of the distinctions between a strong leader and a weak leader is how they deal with change, particularly when it affects their original plans.
Often, when things go pear-shaped, it is not the actions of the leader that brings order to chaos, but rather the manner in which the leader conducts him/herself.
In the opening of his letter to the church in Philippi, Paul instructs the people there to conduct themselves in a way that is pleasing to God so that they will be able to stand firm in one spirit, particularly when faced by opposition.
"Nevertheless,conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ. Then, whether I come and see you or hear about you in my absence, I will know that you stand firm in one spirit, contending side by side for the faith of the gospel, without being frightened in any way by those who oppose you."
- Philippians 1:27-28a (BSB)
How do we conduct ourselves in times of conflict and chaos?