Tag Archives: failure

Failure to Supervise

911 recordings have been released this week regarding a male driver who ran a jeep into a house, abandoned the vehicle, went home and watched TV until the police arrived. While this may sound like just another call at the 911 office, amazingly, the 911 operator sounded very confused and unsure how to handle the problem at first. To make things even stranger, the male driver wasn’t even cited!

You see, the boy was a 3-year-old toddler. So when the call came from a man who witnessed the whole thing, it sounded something like this:

911 emergency? Uh yes, ma’am. I just seen a little kid in a diaper. He just rolled a Jeep across the street and into a house.

A little kid in a diaper? Like a real Jeep? A full size Jeep?

Yeah, it’s a Jeep. It’s sitting here in the side of a house right now.

So here are the facts: a police officer noticed a toddler playing in a Jeep and warned the adult inside who was apparently a relative watching the boy for his parents. Later that day, the toddler was at it again, and while the relative was doing something else, he slipped back out to the car. He then accidentally knocked the manual shift out of gear, and rode the car down the street, through an intersection, over a curb, and into a house.

Once his joy ride was over, the boy, wearing only a diaper, ran back to his house, got on the couch, and watched cartoons like nothing had happened. The police knocked on the door later, and to the babysitter’s surprise, he found out what happened and was cited with “failure to supervise.”

Failure to supervise. I like that. You should have been watching, training, instructing, or otherwise being “in charge” of a young person who is not held responsible for their actions. You are the adult.

Now, what if we apply this idea in the church? Will God cite some with a failure to supervise? Whether as parents, teachers, preachers, babysitters, or caregivers, God has given us an important supervisory role…watch over and train up the next generation. But many of us choose the spiritual equivalent of “driving toddlers,” when we allow the spiritually immature to guide themselves and play with spiritually dangerous things.

The truth is, you never know when a toddler might accidentally knock into something that causes the vehicle to run away, out of control.

So don’t let your little ones hang out in cars unattended…and watch how you leave the next generation.  “Train up a child in the way he should go, Even when he is old he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6

Moses Couldn’t Lead?

To put it plainly, there was a time when Moses couldn’t lead anyone out of a wet paper bag. He was an ineffective liberator. Yes, he tried…but failed spectacularly. You may be asking, “Is this the Moses who brought down the plagues on Egypt and destruction on Pharaoh’s household and freed a nation of slaves?” Well sort of…consider the following.

Exodus 2:11-12 tells us that Moses saw an Egyptian beating a Hebrew, “one of his brethren,” and he “struck down the Egyptian.” In Acts 7:25, Stephen says that Moses “supposed that his brethren understood that God was granting them deliverance through him, but they did not.” Moses had to flee to the desert due to his failed deliverance. Again, in Numbers 20:8-12, Moses made such a mistake in leading God’s people that he himself was not allowed to enter the Promised Land. How is it that Moses could perform God’s amazing wonders at times, and yet fall so short at other times?

The fine line between successful leadership and failure is our willingness to follow the Lord’s direction. When Moses chose to liberate his brethren without a word from the Lord, it ended in trouble. But when God told him to liberate the people, it ended in miraculous freedom. When Moses chose to strike the rock in anger rather than speaking to it as God commanded, it ended in Moses not entering the Promised Land. But when he asked God to see the land, God granted his request – in his life (Deuteronomy 34:1-4) and eternally (Luke 9:28-36).

Today, we don’t speak with God the way Moses did, but our conversations are just as meaningful. When we act on our own will and try to liberate ourselves and others based on our own timelines and opinions, we fail just as Moses did. But if we will follow God’s word and God’s timing, we can be free and help free others from the bondage of sin. There is only one, true freedom from slavery today, Jesus Christ, the Son of God. Whose will do you follow today – God’s or your own?