Two hikers experienced Dangerous Beauty last week then they were mauled by a sow grizzly bear. Earlier this summer my family hiked some of these same trails in Wyoming’s beautiful national park. As I read the article about the two unfortunate victims I was taken back to Yellowstone and the wildlife we encountered. Bears of any kind are stunningly beautiful and frighteningly dangerous. While driving on a mountain road a black bear sauntered in front of our vehicle. A few minutes later we pulled into a parking lot where a female was flailing her arms and pointing down the mountain to another bear. I walked over a small ridge to tell others about this Dangerous Beauty when someone else saw a bear. I figured the one I had seen, minutes before, must have walked around the mountain. The group stood on a rail fence trying to get a better look. I could not spot the bear. Frustrated, I asked the others and I was the only one who couldn’t find it. Finally, a man spoke, “You’re looking too far down the hill. It’s right there.” Much to my amazement I was standing 25 feet from the bear! I quickly moved to the car!
I missed something beautiful but dangerous even though it was right in front of me! I was working as hard as I could to see it, but it took the eyes of another to point my attention toward its presence. This example could be applied in two ways. The first application is sin. Satan excels at making sin attractive. Read Genesis 3; Eve and then Adam succumb to his temptation. The problem is other people’s sin appears large and scary to us but our own sin escapes our attention. Paul calls out in Roman’s 7 for this very reason, “Why do I do the things I do not want to do?”
The second application is leadership choices. I may think I am viewing a situation clearly. What I am really seeing is Dangerous Beauty unless I move around and see things from different perspectives. Trusting my limited vantage point places me, and those I serve, in danger.
Excellent leaders surround themselves with eyes capable of seeing Dangerous Beauty before it is picked, plucked, harvested, or harnessed. Whether it is sinful choices or ill-informed decisions, accountability protects leaders from Dangerous Beauty’s wrath. God’s Word tells us in the book of Proverbs how iron sharpens iron and in Hebrews how we should not give up meeting together. Jesus regularly hung out with his disciples so they could learn about life from Him. Consider the accountability you have built into your own life and be on the look out for Dangerous Beauty . . . it is closer than you think!