True Power

True Power

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Everyone Wants To Lead (Joan of Arc)

I was in a meeting supporting my friend who happens to be a city alderman. After talking about the plans in store for our city and whether the proposed concept was good for the city, someone said, "It has always been hard for a certain segment of the population to work effectively together because everyone wants to be the leader and no one wants to follow."

This was not a comment that did not ring true to the many people in the meeting room. I myself belong to several groups and hold various positions and have been frustrated beyond belief at how we spin our wheels and accomplish nothing. To be truthful, everyone in the organization does want to lead and can not be counted on to follow.

Being a TCM (Turner Classic Movie) fan, I spent this past Sunday night snuggled on my favorite couch to watch two versions of Joan Of Arc. The first was a 1927 silent black and white version and the second was a foreign French version, black and white from 1937, I believe. Each movie was had the English dialogue streaming on the bottom of the screen.

1920's Joan
I have seen many versions of Joan Of Arc, but never one of the two listed above. These two versions were produced using only original court transcripts and interviews found by the people of that time.

Joan was tried by the Catholic Church with the English having a vested interest in the outcome of her trial due to the fact she was helping the king of France, an enemy at the time.

Joan broke all of the rules. She wore men clothing, led men into battle, wore armor, cut her hair, and worst of all; she believed she could by pass the church i.e. bishops and pope and speak directly with God and even the saints and angels (Micheal). She was a heretic and the church was going to excommunicate her if she did not recant that she was working under the counsel of God. While in prison it was determined that her clothes may have been giving her stoic resolve so they tried to get her to put on a dress; which she refused to do. Then it was determined since she vowed her virginity to God, she was receiving her stregnth from that. In the 1937 movie Joan told a priest that the guards had tried to rape her on three different occasions. Communion was paraded before her as a bargaining tool to get her to recant.
After being tried just feet from the galleys, she recanted, but within hours changed her mind and said she was weakened by the fear of death but could not make God a liar and said her recanting was the true lie.

Joan was burned at the stake with the church and governmental officials looking on. As soon as the flames began, you could see the doubt cross the faces of the men. They had to wonder, who would go to their death proclaiming to be a servant of God if they were not. This was the action of the Jesus and later the apostles.
I thought about all of the people who want to lead. When glory, fame, fortune, and honor are to the results it is easy to want to lead, but when ridicule, torture and death are the result, no hand will go up to be chosen.

Great leaders always pay a heavy price whether you are aware of it or not. If you were to read the biography of people we consider great, there will be pages filled with pain and often times uncertainty and pure defeat of the spirit at times.

Victory has many fathers. But who claims defeat? The person who claims defeat is the one who got back up and dusted themselves off and continued onward not accepting defeat as an option, but just a bump in the road.
Joan Of Arc was a woman who led but she was also a woman who followed God. The church saw her as a threat with her nonsense of hearing and talking to God on her own. Years would pass and what the church feared at that time would still come to pass, the Protestant movement came and said we should be able to read the Bible for themselves and pray on their own.

So now I must ask myself do I know when to lead and do I know when to follow. Joan's life ended at the age of 19 in a tragic blaze of fire and smoke. She stood behind her beliefs and cause to the end. All I can say is, I can understand why men would follow her into battle

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