As soon as dawn broke, the armies joined battle,
the one having as pledge of success and victory not only their valor but also their reliance on the Lord,
and the other taking fury as their leader in the fight.
(2 Maccabees 10:28)
I found this passage striking. One army was led by their reliance on the Lord.
The other took “fury as their leader” in the fight. Some translations say “rage” instead of fury.
Who chooses to be led by rage or fury? Who would want to live that way?
And yet when I think about it, I do see people who live their lives approaching everything with fury. They strike and struggle and rage against others, against “the system,” against God.
Others take regret as their leader: “if only … my life would be better.” Some take a variance of “self” – self-pity, self-reliance, self-centeredness, self-fulfillment – as their leader. Their focus is either on what they don’t have, or on seeking to fulfill their own dreams at any cost.
But there are others who seem to focus more on gratitude. Even if they have little or if their struggles are great, they focus on something beyond themselves. They are as if “having a pledge of success and victory.”
They are lead by their reliance on the Lord, whatever is given to them they receive.
That is the leader I want to take in the fight.