17 Moses’ father-in-law replied, “What you are doing is not good. 18 You and these people who come to you will only wear yourselves out. The work is too heavy for you; you cannot handle it alone. 23 If you do this and God so commands, you will be able to stand the strain, and all these people will go home satisfied.”
Exodus 18:17, 18 and 23
How do I know I’m getting older? All my sports heroes have retired, and the greatest of them all tragically passed 4 years ago to the day. In memorial to Kobe Bryant many began preaching the Mamba Mentality, giving honor to the maniacal approach Kobe took to the game. Maniacal in that what vaulted him to be the best also eventually caused his body to break. I remember one ESPN writer stating that “Kobe created and destroyed Kobe”, basically saying his relentless drive to win at all cost, even if he had to play through injury, wasn’t sustainable in the ultimate team sport. It makes me wonder at times that even though Kobe inspired many with the Mamba Mentality, maybe if he sat out a game or two and trusted his teammates a little more, he would’ve had a longer career and a few more championships.
While the drive to succeed and win is admirable, and as much as it pains me to say, the Mamba Mentality is flawed. And today Jethro sweeps in with the blueprint for success and satisfaction.
In admonishing his son-in-law, Jethro also gives Moses the right mentality moving forward. He’s basically saying, “you’re doing too much all by yourself and it’s not sustainable.” It’s important to note that Jethro never said stop working, but to work smarter. While so much of Kobe’s approach was right on the money, it wasn’t until he realized that a pick and roll with Gasol was better than a one on five, and not until he embraced the team aspect of the game that he would win back to back championships; probably more if he figured it out earlier.
While I’ll always be a fan of Kobe and his Mamba Mentality, I need to be a follower of what Jethro says should be Moses’ mentality. So, as I apply the the words of Jethro to my life and my responsibilities as a husband, father and servant it breaks down a little something like this:
My mentality needs to focus my purpose and calling and…
1. Recognize that I alone cannot do everything. I often choose the lone wolf approach because I need to control things. I’m much better off surrendering control and remembering that the strength of the wolf is in the pack.
2. Be a champion not a chump. Champion the people but don’t bend to every criticism and complaint. Being a champion means shepherding the situations not just calming the complaints.
3. Pass on as much wisdom as possible while also correcting the problem; not just correct the problem without learning and growth taking place.
4. Identify those who are capable of carrying the legacy past my generation.
5. Prioritize my work load and trust those chosen to do the other things. Focus solely on my 5%.
If I succeed in following these 5 steps then I assure 3 things:
2. No Burnout
3. A constant and consistent passion
Lord help me! Guide me as I strive to prioritize my time and energy. Family, Friends, Ministry with you in the center of it all. Teach me to value my 5%. Amen.