"Should I give up my fruit, so good and sweet, to go waving over the trees?" (Judges 9:11).
This parable sets forth delightfully a divine truth: promotion isn't always the practical thing to do. We Christians are encouraged to feel that we are where we are supposed to be; we have no inclination to rise above the crowd and to be accused of waving our virtues and talents above our fellowmen. We have our own peculiar position to fulfill and God asks that we be satisfied with that. After all, we all are watered and nurtured by the same God who has put us where we are.
Inferred here are several Christian virtues: humility, obedience, a sense of responsibility, and mutual generosity. It is better to be humble and fruitful than haughty and futile.
In effect, should I give up what I am now doing, which is worthwhile and useful, to take the offer of a position in which I may not be able to harvest what I consider is a heavenly yield? The Bible gives examples of this. For one, Gideon and his sons refused to begin a hereditary monarchy; Abimelech did, and anarchy resulted (Judges 9:5) for which he was to pay dearly.
And yet, excellent leadership is indispensable. Responsibility is necessary in any type of administration. We may be asked sometime to accept a position of what finally is accountability which translates to ability, reliability and liability, a large package over which to say grace. In the parable, the trees wound up with the thorn bush and got burned -- and the people got burned with Abimelech. The point is this: lesser and more ambitious people can bring down organizations and nations. Let us beware of the person who demands subservience to his or her brambles of unholy designs. We all get cremated in the end! If we have the God-given talent to help, then let us pray for holy ambition.