The opening passage of scripture that Eldredge uses, to me, best describes the totality of what God has given us.
"The highest heavens belong to the Lord, but the earth He has given to man."
- Psalm 115:16
Honestly, when I first read through the table of contents of this book, I practically dismissed this chapter as somewhat non-applicable to me since I haven't really done much in the way of my life pursuits/goals. Yet, after reading this scripture, I realized that God has in fact given me a little Kingdom in which to rule over. At present, I am a Platoon Leader, responsible for roughly 40 Soldiers, and I'm several months away from being in charge of another human being...all the livelong day!
Eldredge explicitly states that throughout life you are vested with certain authorities, whether it be over land, animals, or people. In other stages preceding the King, we are given sovereign powers over more than ourselves, and our actions during that time clearly indicate our true priorities. Do we care more about what we're in charge of, or do we use our power and authority to our advantage? For instance, think of your boss. Does he work hard at pleasing you and making your work environment more conducive or productivity? Or, does he use you and your co-workers to make his life better? It's these types of observations that expose the true heart of a man.
While reading this chapter, I frequently found myself reflecting on my interactions with my Soldiers, but also other people that I've been in charge of, or worked with over the years. While I seek to be the servant leader Christ displayed while on earth, I can't really say that I'm ALWAYS carrying myself in that manner. In many instances, I'll drop whatever it is I'm doing to assist a Soldier who's having a pay issue or even a personal issue. However, I can also remember times that I practically blew them off because I had a pressing deadline. It's almost like God is showing me where I've taken one step forward, then two steps back. He definitely let me know that I've got a lot more work to do!
If there's anything that will stick with me during this chapter, it's that in whatever opportunities God has given me to be in charge of other people, if I put myself first, I'm wrong. Simple as that. Just as David provided for his Soldiers and their families, we too must make a concerted effort to serve those under our sphere of influence. In doing so, we're honoring them and the Holy father, who gave us this earth in which to live and grow.
On a separate note, I ask for continued prayer for Leslie, as she still hasn't quite kicked the nausea of pregnancy. We're both getting pretty irritated with the uncertainty of each day, but Lord willing, it will finally end soon!