Dallas-Fort Worth is home to me. I was born here, lived here until I was 35, did some moving around in different states for 11 years, then happily came back to let my toes become reacquainted with the sweet Texas soil. When I heard the Bushes (of the W. variety) were planning his presidential library to be built on the grounds of SMU, right here in the metroplex, I was thrilled, because I’m a lover of history, both of our country, and the presidency, itself.

With this knowledge, you now know that yesterday found me watching the dedication of that beautiful building and its contents, set against the azure sky of my home state, with full colors and the Battle Hymn of the Republic sung by the U.S. Army Chorus. My patriotism soaring, I watched, along with millions of others, I’m sure, as our living presidents, past and present, gathered on the same platform to honor President Bush and his time in the chair they’d all shared behind the Resolute Desk. Partisanship was set aside in favor of unity and thanks. It was a beautiful thing to see.

However, out of all of it, there was one statement, spoken by President Bush in a taped piece, that struck me to my core:

Life is service to the end.

This, from a man who was once considered the most powerful man in the world. The WORLD. This from one who had an untold number of people at his beck and call, who could ring up leaders of foreign countries in the middle of the night and know they’d answer, who held our country’s fate in the palm of his hand.

I know that not all who will read this share the same political views as I, but I’m not writing this morning to sing the praises of W. Truly. I’m writing to pose this question: What makes a person with that kind of power make that kind of statement?

This is my own answer: A person who understands the concept of living low.

The best leaders are the ones who are constantly serving the needs of their own followers. They are the ones who always have time for the members of their team, and who are always doing things behind the scenes that no one else may see. They are the ones who understand the overall value, not just as a leader, but as a human being, of putting others ahead of themselves, and how that can change the fabric, not only of their position, team or organization, but of the future of society in their personal slice of it.

Christ lived low. He left the splendor and perfection of heaven to schlep through the pain and discontent of life, zipped up in daily-decaying human skin. He constantly gave of Himself, to twelve, often-clueless men who formed His posse, and the untold thousands who gathered to hear Him teach within the relatively small area He traveled. He not only taught, but He fed them, listened to them, and healed them. And in the midst of it all, He told them…us…to do the same. To serve and love our fellow man well. And you know what? He isn’t just the most powerful man in the world. He’s the Creator of the universe.

I’m thankful, not only for leaders who grasp this concept, but for every person walking on the planet who does. Because life is service to the end, and if we realize that and live low because of it, we won’t obscure the view of the most High God, our world’s only hope.


“Whoever wants to be great must become a servant. Whoever wants to be first among you must be your slave. That is what the Son of Man has done: He came to serve, not to be served—and then to give away his life in exchange for many who are held hostage.” Mark 10:43-45 MSG

Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus,who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant,being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” Philippians 2:3-11 ESV

But among you it will be different. Those who are the greatest among you should take the lowest rank, and the leader should be like a servant. Who is more important, the one who sits at the table or the one who serves? The one who sits at the table, of course. But not here! For I am among you as one who serves.” Luke 22:26-27 NLT