It was a typical Monday morning at The Ambrose School. Students had trickled in slowly, and a small handful were left in the hallways, grabbing their books and stuffing coats into their lockers.
The conversation of two girls, their lockers a few lockers apart, caught my attention.
Girl 1 (warmly): “Good morning, Abigail!”
Girl 2 (sleepily): “Good morning.”
Girl 1: “Have a great day!”
Girl 2: “You, too!”
You might be scratching your head at the above exchange and wondering why it was praiseworthy. Great question.
The conversation, simple in itself, was made beautiful by its context. The girl who initiated the brief exchange was a senior, a House leader and a star athlete, a leader in our school community in every way; the second girl was an eighth grader, a member of what in many other schools would be that lowly caste of junior high kids whose sole station in life seems at times to be the object of scorn from high school students.
Not so in our hallways.
In Matthew 23, Jesus describes a view on leadership, saying, “[H]e who is greatest among you shall be your servant. And whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.” In this passage Jesus completely inverts the world’s view on leadership; He takes it and flips it on its head. The world presents a leader as the one who garners the most servants or followers; Jesus presents a leader as the one who pours out his life most fully in service to others. Examples of the world’s view on leadership are easy to find: the CEO who gets the covered parking spot nearest the door, every fraternity hazing ritual, every freshmen football player carrying a senior’s pads, etc.
The Christian view of leadership can by more difficult to find, especially amongst teens. I’m blessed to be in the place that I am, where I get to see such things on a daily basis. The View from the Golden Wood is truly beautiful and encouraging.