A fair number of people pay great attention to those who are successful, rich, who rule. The ancients knew better. The king inherited his position: it was by birth, or was chosen by lot. It was not his virtue. He was drafted for the role: it was his duty. And that status could be a trap.
17 As He was setting out on a journey, a man ran up to Him and knelt before Him, and asked Him, “Good Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” 18 And Jesus said to him, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good except God alone. 19 You know the commandments, ‘Do not murder, Do not commit adultery, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Do not defraud, Honor your father and mother.’” 20 And he said to Him, “Teacher, I have kept all these things from my youth up.” 21 Looking at him, Jesus felt a love for him and said to him, “One thing you lack: go and sell all you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.” 22 But at these words he was saddened, and he went away grieving, for he was one who owned much property.Mark 10:17-22, NASB
The correct attitude to status is to distrust it. It goes like smoke. The only use of power is to give it away. Grasping on and clinging to power is, again, akin to catching smoke, or juggling fire. The issues and conflicts of this moment have come before, and will come again. It is no use worrying about such: you cannot change them no more than the course of a river… and even then, dams fail and hydroelectric stations have a use by date.
1 The words of the Preacher, the son of David, king in Jerusalem.Ecclesiastes 1:1-11, NASB
2 “Vanity of vanities,” says the Preacher,
“Vanity of vanities! All is vanity.”
3 What advantage does man have in all his work
Which he does under the sun?
4 A generation goes and a generation comes,
But the earth remains forever.
5 Also, the sun rises and the sun sets;
And hastening to its place it rises there again.
6 Blowing toward the south,
Then turning toward the north,
The wind continues swirling along;
And on its circular courses the wind returns.
7 All the rivers flow into the sea,
Yet the sea is not full.
To the place where the rivers flow,
There they flow again.
8 All things are wearisome;
Man is not able to tell it.
The eye is not satisfied with seeing,
Nor is the ear filled with hearing.
9 That which has been is that which will be,
And that which has been done is that which will be done.
So there is nothing new under the sun.
10 Is there anything of which one might say,
“See this, it is new”?
Already it has existed for ages
Which were before us.
11 There is no remembrance of earlier things;
And also of the later things which will occur,
There will be for them no remembrance
Among those who will come later still.
The first thing is to fear God and resist the spirit of this age. Your work in this generation, in this time is what matters. God holds the future: our duty is to the present. And let not the scribbles of this age take the peace and quietness that comes by the grace of God away from you.