LTraveling on a boat during a beautiful Tahitian Islands visit this year I was surprised how many hidden rocks and coral reef formations just seemed to appear from out of nowhere beneath the water. Navigating them was tricky and I had new respect for the abilities and intelligence of the ship’s captain. 

Having just visited the Museum of the Bible in Washington D.C. the previous month I was reminded of the dramatic presentation I’d seen of the story of John Newton. Newton was the English sea captain responsible for writing the legendary song, Amazing Grace. As a sea captain, Newton had to take risks, be adventurous, and look out on the horizon. But it also required that he look down. Great leaders need to remember that from their lofty high positions they can’t forget to see those working below them. 

Are there people who can bring new perspective and discoveries to your work? 

Are there people who have hidden agendas and would like to sink your ship?

What opportunities are you missing when you’re only looking up?

Humility can be a great teacher. Each of us have hit boulders hidden beneath our eyesight and we all need the wisdom and knowledge of our great navigator Father in heaven to be our ultimate guide. His wisdom comes from the greatest map and guide book given to man, the Bible. Wise leaders know to keep their eyes and ears open and to be alert to His guiding voice. 

What I love about the story of John Newton is that he was a rebel explorer. Restless to see what was out there beyond the horizon he pushed the limits and his life took twists and turns that would eventually bring him to his knees in recognition that the God of the universe looked down to see him and care for him. This recognition gave John Newton new eyesight into looking down to see the slaves beneath his ship’s planks and then doing something about it.

Is it time to start humbling yourself to see a unique destination that God wants to take you to with people you may have never dreamed of working with? 

He reveals deep and hidden things; he knows what lies in darkness, and light dwells with him. Daniel 2:22 (NIV)