If leadership is an art, then one of its most amazing forms has to be the tapestry.
Tapestry is a form of textile art, woven by hand on a loom. The vertical threads are hidden in the completed work; they are flexible in order to be drawn over and under the horizontal threads. The horizontal threads are visible, and thus have a finer quality. Because they are spun with a twist in opposite directions, they exist in tension. Together, the two types of threads create a beautiful image. Intricate, detailed images were created by artists which were then given to craftsmen to produce the finished artwork. Tapestries often contain symbolic emblems, mottoes, or a coat of arms. They were used by kings as a symbol of authority, able to be rolled up and carried to wherever the king was to be. The church used tapestries for displays on special occasions. They also served as a functional item, useful for insulation in drafty castles.
History lesson aside, a tapestry is a perfect metaphor for leaders God uses in His work:
- God is the master Artist, creating the design of our lives; we are craftsmen who weave individual threads following His pattern
- Leaders should not have a one-dimensional outlook on life; they need to be vertically connected to God while horizontally connected to people
- Our connection to God should be constant, weaving over and under throughout life
- Our connections with people are highly visible even though under some tension
- Our leadership qualities should represent something; they are a symbol that others see and recognize what they stand for
- As leaders, we represent authority – the question is how will you represent it?
- Leaders are certainly visible for all to see, but they must always remember that leadership is not an end unto itself, but a function of “leading” others
- Leadership is not fixed to a place; true leaders cannot help but lead, whether in the corporate office, the church meeting room, or the family kitchen table.
How are you weaving the threads of life into the beautiful masterpiece God has created for you?