When you look in the night sky there are few things more amazing to watch than a shooting star. The speed at which the light flashes across the sky is exhilarating. But have you ever stopped to consider that whatever type of debris is falling into our orbit is actually in the process of burning up. It is being consumed and the heat that is generated as the object deteriorates is the light which we see. Pretty quickly, that object burns out and the light ceases. If it's big enough, it breaks through our atmosphere and lands with a giant thud somewhere on the planet as a blackened rock.
Contrast that with a Star. A Star provides the same kind of brilliant light, but over a much longer period of time. It too is being consumed, but not so quickly and the result is that it provides light in the darkness for many years to come.
Which would you rather be?
So often we structure our lives for the fast payouts. The problems that come from this are compounded when we are leader. Burnout is more common to the leader who lives like a meteor - flashy, fast, never slowing down and unable to take the long road of working with a few people to train them to help us.
This was the lesson Moses needed to learn in Exodus 18:13-27. Here we find the prescription for a ministry that is not so prone to burnout, but is set to shine like the stars in the heavens for many years to come.
"When his father-in-law saw all that Moses was doing for the people, he said, 'What is this you are doing for the people? Why do you alone sit as judge, while all these people stand around you from morning till evening?'
Moses answered him, 'Because the people come to me to seek God’s will. Whenever they have a dispute, it is brought to me, and I decide between the parties and inform them of God’s decrees and instructions.'
Moses’ father-in-law replied, 'What you are doing is not good. You and these people who come to you will only wear yourselves out. The work is too heavy for you; you cannot handle it alone. Listen now to me and I will give you some advice, and may God be with you. You must be the people’s representative before God and bring their disputes to him. Teach them his decrees and instructions, and show them the way they are to live and how they are to behave. But select capable men from all the people—men who fear God, trustworthy men who hate dishonest gain—and appoint them as officials over thousands, hundreds, fifties and tens. Have them serve as judges for the people at all times, but have them bring every difficult case to you; the simple cases they can decide themselves. That will make your load lighter, because they will share it with you. If you do this and God so commands, you will be able to stand the strain, and all these people will go home satisfied'" (Exodus 18:14-23).