Jan 29 2014 It’s Lonely at the Top
Ask any leader in his field and he’ll tell you that success can be lonely. It’s not uncommon for great achievers to fall into a deep depression once they’ve reached the top. You would think they would feel satisfied by their accomplishments, yet many struggle with a profound sense of loss, even emptiness.
It’s not a new problem. The Bible tells of a man who lived nearly 3,000 years ago who achieved phenomenal success as a prophet, yet became almost suicidal. The cure for his spiraling depression may surprise you. God ordered him to become a mentor.
The story is recorded in 1 Kings 19:9–16. Up until this time, Elijah had faithfully proclaimed God’s Word, and performed miracles, and foretold Israel’s future, and fearlessly confronted the sins of Israel’s idolatrous king and queen. He stood alone against 450 pagan priests and humiliated them. He became such an effective voice for God that the queen committed all of the nation’s resources to hunt him down and to kill him.
Elijah escaped into the wilderness, collapsed under a bush, and said, “I have had enough, LORD. Take my life; I am no better than my ancestors” (1 Kings 19:4). So, after ministering to Elijah’s physical and spiritual needs, God addressed his equally important emotional need. He said, “Anoint Elisha to succeed you as prophet” (1 Kings 19:16).
This wasn’t a demotion or a firing; it was a gift. Mentoring Elisha didn’t burden Elijah; it gave him his second wind. This committed relationship helped Elijah become more significant and more effective than ever.
Consider where you are in your professional or spiritual journey. How might you benefit by becoming a supportive influence in the life of another?