30,000 of Israel’s finest were singing and cheering loudly as they escorted the Ark of the Covenant down the hill from Abinadab’s house. “Yay God! The Ark of the Covenant is coming home to Jerusalem!
The Ark was on a cart. The cart was towed by an ox. Abinadab’s boys, Uzzah and Ahio, guided the cart as it left the house and made its way down the slope.
Suddenly, the ox started to stumble. The cart started to tumble. Uzzah instinctively reached out his hand to steady the sacred artifact from falling.
You know the rest of the story (2 Samuel 6).
Poor Uzzah. He was only trying to be helpful. He wasn’t out to be a superhero. He wasn’t out to make a name for himself. He just wanted to do the right thing… protect the Ark from falling.
He must have felt the weight of the world on his shoulders. 30,000 people were watching. If he didn’t reach out and rescue the golden box, it would surely fall, splintering into pieces of jagged mahogany and gold. No one else was near enough to rescue the Ark from sliding off the cart. It had to be him. Only he was in the right place at the right time. Only he could save the Ark of the Covenant. Feeling indispensable in the moment, Uzzah overstepped his bounds.
As a leader, there are times when I feel as though everything depends on me. Only I am in the right place at the right time. I’m indispensable. If I don’t reach out and steady the ark, it’s going to fall… and everything is going to be ruined. People are watching. I feel the weight of the world on my shoulders. Only I can save this thing. Feeling indispensable in the moment, I have overstepped my bounds.
How about you? I am convinced that all of us are prone to overstepping the role and place that God has assigned to us. We sometimes try to do God’s work for him. It’s as if we think we’re indispensable. We think that God needs us… to protect his reputation; to keep his church from falling; to do his work in the world. Yes, God has assigned us a role. He’s given us a place. But there are boundaries that we must not cross. We are not indispensable.