Phase 2B: Don't Miss the Boat - The Pursuit for Growth (1987-1991)

My Leadership Journey

  1. No Pain, No Gain - The Path of Discipline (1984-1986) 
  2. Don't Miss the Boat - The Pursuit for Growth (1987-1991)

Recap summary of previous postFrom Dec 1986 to the year 1991, I transited into a phase of intense leadership development. I called this phase, ‘Don’t Miss the Boat – The Pursuit of Growth’. In all, these years were filled with 4 landmark events, all of which served to equip me in areas then unknown to me.

In this post, I shall be sharing four practical steps to ensure that you are on the path of growth:
1) Stop excuses
2) Stop idling
3) Start volunteering
4) Start initiating

1) Stop excuses
In reading Luke 9:57 – 10:1, you will discover two excuses given. The first – ‘Lord, first let me go and bury my father.’ and the second – but first let me go back and say good-bye to my family.

StrengthsFinder Sinagpore - Ploughing.jpg

These two excuses are like looking back from the buffalo you are seated on. Such an action will tilt the arc of the plough tilling the soil, making it veer offtrack. The result is a curve. We are created for a high purpose. Giving excuses, even relevant ones, is a sign of falling off track. When the opportunity arises, look forward and go ahead. Stop giving excuses. Do not be lethargic in the status quo, giving explanations to justify stagnation. In fact, the consequence of giving excuses is no growth. But when you take the risks and make decisions, you will be stretched and blessed beyond what you comprehend.

2) Stop idling
With strength, do something! Refer to Proverbs 6:4-11.

v.9-11 ‘How long will you lie there, you sluggard? When will you get up from your sleep? A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest – and poverty will come on you like a bandit and scarcity like an armed man.’

The consequence of idling, pushing back things that should be done and should have been done, is heavy. An idle person will be robbed of his present possessions e.g. talents, properties, situations etc., thus lapsing into career and/or spiritual impoverishment.

With what you have, do something. Then you will receive growth and transformation.

3) Start volunteering
The epic story of David and Goliath (1 Samuel 17) exhorts us to start volunteering.

StrengthsFinder Sinagpore - David & Goliath.jpg

Drawing our attention to v. 16 ‘For forty days the Philistine (Goliath) came forward every morning and evening and took his stand...’ We will pause to question. Why was there inactivity of an arduous forty days in a heated time of war? Why were Saul and his commanders giving excuses? What excuses did they give?

The Israelites were bowing into the trap of excuses, even when the boat of opportunity struck them at their heels. The boat of opportunity, indeed, was to declare that Jehovah God was mightier than Goliath. Even when they could grow in hope and trust in the Lord God Almighty, they chose not to.

But there was David, who gave no excuses in his youth. He engaged, seized and struck the Philistine, knowing that God’s covering was upon him. In v. 32 David said to Saul – ‘Let no one lose heart on account of this Philistine; your servant will go and fight him.’ Here, David volunteered himself. Then in v. 36 he named his courage – ‘Your servant has killed both the lion and the bear.’ Never, never did David give any excuse that the lions and the bears were too formidable to overcome, too implacable an enemy. He never idled when the lion and the bear attacked his sheep. Instead, he fought them. Head-on.


To pursue growth, start volunteering.

4) Start initiating
2 Samuel 23:16 reads, ‘So the three mighty men broke through the Philistine lines, drew water from the well…

Skill, ability, knowledge, understanding - the means of attaining all these are through initiating. The three mighty men, out of their own will, risked their lives and opened a blood path when David longed for water. From their example, we see not only their faithfulness, but their determination in the frontline of initiation.

In summary...

Do not miss the boat. Specifically, the boat of opportunity. If you truly desire growth, act upon the given chance(s). You will discover yourself in a ship, not guided by the impulse of a free-wheeling compass, but by decision, direction and finally, destination.

Which of the four steps do you have to act upon?

Don't miss the boat. Get on it and sail on the sea of growth.