Excellent leaders live on two plains at once. They live and work horizontally with people and tasks while, at the same time, living vertically as they are being led, empowered and honoring the one who has called, gifted and sent them. We must always keep both in view at all times.

A missionary couple was returning on a ship after many years of faithful service oversees. As the ship pulled into the dock, there were great crowds of people there to welcome Teddy Rosevelt home after one of his trips. The husband turned to his wife a bit discouraged and said, “Many are here to welcome Mr. Rosevelt home, but nobody is here to welcome us home.” To which his wife wisely replied, “Honey, we are not home yet.” 

When I first became a Christian 62 years ago, our youth group sang a little course that had these words: 

“This world is not my home I’m just a passing through, my treasures are laid up somewhere beyond the blue.” 

I don’t know about you, but I struggle keeping the horizontal and the vertical in view and in balance. It’s easy and tempting for me to lay up my treasures on earth and only think horizontally from day to day. I’m challenged to live in the small picture while keeping the bigger picture always in mind.

A little girl was on a boat heading to Catalina Island.  Taking it all in on the beautifully clear day, she turned to her father and said, “Daddy I can look farther than I can see.” That’s it— looking horizontally, but also seeing vertically; looking beyond what you can currently see in front of you.

Moses kept this perspective (horizontal & Vertical) as outlined in Hebrews 11:23-28- Please read this for your encouragement!

Paul speaks of having his eyes both on the work here and the reward there in 2 Timothy 4:1-8 as he both encourages and challenges Timothy.  This passage begins and ends with the second coming. Paul is looking back and around, but also ahead. He lived with a good balance between the the horizontal and the vertical. 

I have a good friend who is currently experiencing some significant health challenges. A few weeks ago on a phone call with him he shared that 2 Corinthians 4:7-16 was a great encouragement to him in giving him perspective between what is happening on the horizontal and what is transpiring and will transpire on the vertical. 

At the moment I know a lot of leaders who are dealing with some pretty heavy stuff:

  • Disappointment 
  • Deep discouragement
  • Physical illness
  • Issues with children
  • Financial challenges
  • Betrayal 
  • Dryness in their walk with the Lord

I recently read Colossians 3 and was deeply moved by the first two verses in The Message:

“So if you’re serious about living this new resurrection life with Christ, act like it. Pursue the things over which Christ presides. Don’t shuffle along, eyes to the ground, absorbed with the things right in front of you. Look up, and be alert to what is going on around Christ—that’s where the action is. See things from his perspective. 

I long to be enabled to see things from His perspective—keep the vertical view!

At a prayer meeting a pastor asked folks to share one of their favorite verses or passage of Scripture which had been a source of  encouragement to them. 

One gentleman said that he liked the verse that says, “And it came to pass.” The Pastor was a bit perplexed and told the man that a lot of stories that Jesus told began with, “And it came to pass,” which is like saying once upon a time. 

He then asked the gentleman why he liked the phrase, “And it came to pass.” The man replied that it was a great encouragement to him that it didn’t say it came to STAY! 

My fellow leader, you may be going through some hard times at the moment. I don’t want to minimize your pain, but maximize the Prize that awaits you. 

It didn’t come to stay!

You are not home yet!