Gold Uniforms: On the Calling of Leadership

By David Ramos

One of the many blessings this vacation has afforded me has been my conversations with Luis Alvarez.  At different moments in my life I have contemplated and evaluated the trajectory of my life and ministry.  I remembered the highways and cul-de-sacs, intimacy and betrayal, euphoria and despair, actualization and failure.  There have been many times when I questioned the value of the whole endeavor; wouldn’t it be nice just to live a Zen-like existence and be able to help at serendipitous moments?  Why take on the responsibilities of leadership?  Why live in its crucible?  Am I misguided or on some fools journey?  Am I engaging in an exercise of self-deception?

As Luis and I debated these notions into the night he blessed me with a metaphor—from one sci-fi brother to another–he spoke to me about how in the original Star Trek, the crew’s uniforms were codified by rank and discipline.  Blue uniforms were science officers, red were engineering officers, however, gold uniforms, like the one Captain Kirk wore, were reserved for those in leadership.  He went on to share how there were some people in the body of Christ who are designated to function in leadership roles.  Somehow this ministered to me because in spite of circumstances, in spite of challenges, and most of all—in spite of ourselves, God’s grace allows some of us to use our gifts and talents and our very lives in service to others in gold uniforms.  By being faithful to God’s calling we are able to glorify God, become our authentic selves, and build the Kingdom of God.