The first chunk of Daniel 9 is fascinating in what it implies rather than what it says.
It features Daniel as a young man coming to grips with his faith, current events and what the times demanded of him.
Easily lost in a quick reading is repeated references to what Daniel found in ‘the books’—words from God that had guided his people for years.
Daniel went on to become one of the most courageous, insightful and wise leaders in the history of Israel—really, in the history of any nation.
And a lot of that had to do with the fact that he was an avid reader. And every great leader will be too.
Where can we look to learn?
1. God’s word—what we have today as the Bible. Learning leaders make it a lifelong quest to study, mark, learn, inwardly digest and apply the Bible to their lives.
2. People. Attach yourself (in a non-creepy way!) to wise, older men and women who have learned a lot by living well, making mistakes and bouncing back. People aren’t books, but they live stories.
3. Biographies. I’m never without one going on my Kindle or on the coffee table in my library. Can’t overestimate the power of reading about a life well or poorly lived.
Read Eric Metaxas on Bonhoeffer, Timothy Dudley-Smith on John Stott, Martin Gilbert on Winston Churchill, Robert Caro on Robert Moses (an utterly brilliant book which is the best illustration of the corruption of power you will ever read), David McCullough on Harry Truman, and Peter Drucker on himself (his Adventures of a Bystander, which is a book I never get tired of, ever).
4. Talk to others about what you are reading. I have friends who enjoy theology as I do, mysteries as I do, history and biography as I do. To find someone who loves the same kinds of books you do and is willing to talk about them is to make a friend!
How about you? What are you reading these days?