Have you ever faced a day when you know what you do will change the course of your life? Perhaps it was a day you decided to take a particular type of education. It could be the day you graduated or got married. It might be the moment you declared your faith in baptism or the day you walked away from a situation.
You will know what moments occurred in your life which altered your path permanently. Some will be great memories; others will be seared with pain.
You can see it in the cult of celebrity, lottery winners or even YouTube sensations. An ordinary life suddenly becomes public property and is never private again.
For a young Jewish cupbearer blessed with a leader’s mind, that day is about to arrive. The fact that you are reading about him thousands of years later, tells you now that he has become public property. He has his place in the best selling book of all time and is held in the corporate memory of his countrymen.
But you are looking now at his moments of truth. For months after he was moved to prayer and tears he has now arrived at the broken down city of his fathers. His arrival, with a contingent of royal troops, had disturbed the local powers, but no more. If the story stopped there, it would be no story – just another abortive attempt.
But this man was no shallow leader, this man brought his heart, mind and spirit with him shaped in the hands of his God.
For three days he seems to do nothing. He has been building up to this moment his entire life and he knew it. So why three days pause?
You and I know this man now. He was giving himself three final days of privacy before he went public. You know he was praying, thinking, reflecting and planning. Could it be that he was also resting and renewing himself? You can only guess because he does not say – but you can be pretty sure he was doing this because of how he eventually emerges, energized and ready.
But one more secret moment unfolds. Riding one horse and with a few companions on foot, he inspects the ruined walls at night. It was a reconnaissance trip. He was doing his due diligence, gleaning intelligence and gathering final data. On the fourth day he will show his hand.
Do you want to work well? Do you want to work really well? Do you want to inspire others and achieve something significant?
Somewhere in your formation there will have to be the secret preparation.. It is the room of prayer, the discipline of study, the sitting and thinking which will move you from unrealized to realized potential. Let’s not be naïve. I am not suggesting you are all leaders or governors as Nehemiah was, that would be shallow thinking. I am suggesting, that you will become the best you by finding the secret places where you face your God, your self, your doubts and your mission.
Nehemiah’s mind led him to his way of thinking and the expression of God’s mission through him. Your mind will do the same, but like Nehemiah you will need to find the inner architect, the inner places and the inner sanctuary before you go public – however large or small your public may be.
Nehemiah was no loner, as you will see, he is into team work and cooperation, but again, before he can assemble a team, he has to assemble his thoughts. After he creates a team of thoughts in his mind so he will command the respect of others.
So will you.
The next day, nothing in Nehemiah’s life would ever be the same.
Nehemiaih Chapter 2:11-16
11 I went to Jerusalem, and after staying there three days 12 I set out during the night with a few others. I had not told anyone what my God had put in my heart to do for Jerusalem. There were no mounts with me except the one I was riding on.
13 By night I went out through the Valley Gate toward the Jackal Well and the Dung Gate, examining the walls of Jerusalem, which had been broken down, and its gates, which had been destroyed by fire. 14 Then I moved on toward the Fountain Gate and the King’s Pool, but there was not enough room for my mount to get through; 15 so I went up the valley by night, examining the wall. Finally, I turned back and reentered through the Valley Gate. 16 The officials did not know where I had gone or what I was doing, because as yet I had said nothing to the Jews or the priests or nobles or officials or any others who would be doing the work.
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