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Today the world was shocked when Pope Benedict announced that he will resign on February 28th. This is the first pontiff since the Middle Ages to resign as most stay in position until death.

As I have thought on this announcement, I realized that I respected this man’s decision greatly. He could have stayed in position – no one would have pushed him out. But at 85 years of age, he recognized & admitted that  “he no longer had the strength to fulfill the duties of his office.”

Pope Benedict’s decision showed tremendous wisdom. His announcement should teach us all a few things:

  1. Recognize when we are no longer effective. It does not need to be due to old age. We need to be aware when our performance has peaked in a job or position.
  2. Be humble enough to admit that we need to resign &/or move on.
  3. Remember Who will one day hold us accountable. The Pope knew that he would give an account one day to God for his leadership.

I know that today we heard an announcement of resignation. But may we each recognize the louder & yet unspoken message that Pope Benedict delivered today. May God bless him many days ahead!

There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven. (Ecclesiastes 3:1 NIV)