Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Perhaps you're not meant to carry it alone...

"make your load lighter"
Exodus 18:22

This verse, which is part of a wonderful passage in Exodus popped into my head this morning, as I waved good-bye to the Apple of my Eye.  He was off to work, and it was the beginning of a very busy day for him.  Like most of us, my sweet husband has a lot on his plate.  He's an amazing father, very in-tune with our kids, and what's important to them, and he's a thoughtful and caring husband to me.  He's also a son, and a son-in-law; a brother and a friend; and on any given day, an employee, an assistant baseball coach, an elder at our church and a teacher of Bible Study for high-schoolers.

Last night, right before bed, he remembered something he had hoped to have done before Bible Study started today.  And he was going to have to try to squeeze it in during his lunch hour.  But this morning, as he was leaving, I asked if there was someone he could delegate that task to.  Fortunately, that had already occurred to him, and he'd sent a text message to a couple of the other leaders in the Bible Study, and someone else had volunteered to take care of it for him.

And as he drove away, I thought again of the importance of delegation.  We sometimes think of delegation as not taking responsibility, or foisting something off on someone else, but it's actually a gift.  That's why I love how it's demonstrated to us in Scripture.  In the book of Exodus, chapter 18, Moses' father-in-law, Jethro came to him and asked him why he was handling so much by himself.  Moses replied simply, "because the people come to me."  But Jethro told him, "What you are doing is not good.  You will only wear yourself out.  The work is too heavy for you; you cannot handle it alone."  A very wise observation from someone who knew and loved Moses well.  Jethro's suggestion was delegation.  "Select capable men... men who fear God, trustworthy men... appoint them, and have them serve the people.  That will make your load lighter."

The word delegate means to authorize someone; to entrust someone else with something.  It's not just shoving aside a task you dislike.  It's about sharing responsibility.  Sometimes it's hard to let go of something, especially if it's important to us, or if it should be done a certain way.  But delegation is a gift not only to the delegator, but also a gift to the person to whom you are delegating.  {The delagatee?}  We grow when we are given responsibilities.  And we get the joy of blessing others.

It's possible to do this wrong ~ it really is.  Delegation should be prayed over; otherwise you're just abdicating what should be your responsibility.  Take a look at your to-do list, and at all the hats you wear.  And pray about sharing the joy of service with someone else ~ your kids, your spouse, a friend or someone in ministry with you.  If it's of Him, you'll both be blessed.

~ "If you do this, and if God commands, 
you will be able to stand the strain, 
and all the people will be satisfied" ~
Exodus 18:23

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