Weekly Impact is written for leaders by our former Executive Director, Garth Jestley, who has decades of experience in senior leadership roles in the financial services sector. Each week he will share insights on life, leadership and faith.
This is the final post in a series that flows from two premises and one conclusion: (1) people follow leaders; (2) Jesus is The Perfect Leader; and therefore (3) everyone (including marketplace leaders) should consider following Jesus.
GREAT LEADERS PROTECT OTHERS
Today marks the conclusion of a ten part series entitled “The Perfect Leader.” Based on my ongoing experience of Jesus, he is the perfect leader and these postings have merely scratched the surface. To wrap up, I will share how Jesus, the perfect leader, acted in spectacular fashion to protect Mary and me from disaster.
Exactly ten years ago as I write this post, we were to join several others from our church on a short-term mission to India. Our purpose was to teach pastors and other Indian leaders through our International Leaders School of Ministry (“ILSOM”), a training developed by our church and much in demand worldwide. Mary and I had previously participated in an ILSOM near Mumbai and, on this occasion, were slated to go to New Delhi. Our teams were to meet in Mumbai prior to fanning out across India.
After tentatively agreeing to go, we were invited by a close niece to her wedding in England. The date conflicted with the last part of the ILSOM. After considering the conflict, we decided to arrive in Mumbai early and depart the school early to attend her wedding.
On the day we were to commit on travel arrangements, we prayed about the trip. I was quite certain God wanted us there so I wasn’t sure a consultation was necessary but Mary wasn’t so sure! Amazingly, Mary had a strong sense from God that we weren’t to go and, shortly thereafter, so did I. Since we were looking forward to returning, we were confused. Notwithstanding, we cancelled certain that, for some reason, God didn’t want us to go.
Soon afterward, our niece informed us that the proposed wedding date had been advanced such that we could not have attended the first half of the ILSOM. This must have been the reason for the “no!” Imagine my surprise when, a little later, she and her fiancé decided to postpone the wedding indefinitely (they have since married). Notwithstanding, confident God didn’t want us in India on this occasion, I agreed to travel to Ghana on business over the same dates as the ILSOM.
The evening of November 26, 2008, my colleague joined me at dinner in Kumasi with the news of several terrorist attacks in Mumbai. Among the targets was The Taj Mahal Palace Hotel. Mary and I had visited this hotel on our previous visit and planned to stay there over the two days leading up to the ILSOM. As a result, we would have been staying there but for God’s intervention when the attack occurred!
From Wikipedia, “On 29 November, India’s National Security Guards (NSG) conducted ‘Operation Black Tornado’ to flush out the remaining attackers; it culminated in the death of the last remaining attackers at the Taj Hotel and ended the attacks.” During the attack on the Taj, many hotel guests were held hostage, many injured and 31 died.
Mary and I thank God that He is constantly protecting us (see 1 Corinthians 13:7) and continue to be diligent to pray before traveling!
Garth Jestley is a husband, father, grandfather, leader and business executive. Most importantly, he is a follower of Jesus Christ.