An adventurer from India, Suyash Dixit is one of the latest self-proclaimed kings of an unclaimed territories. Dixit traveled to a portion of land known as Bir Tawil. It is a 795-square-mile section along the Egyptian-Sudan border which neither country claims or wants. He planted a few seeds in the ground, poured water on them, posted a flag of his own making, and then proclaimed himself king over “The Kingdom of Dixit.”
Is any state of the international community taking his claim seriously? No. First off, he’s not the first to name himself king of that land. In 2011 Jack Schenker, a writer for British newspaper, The Guardian, claimed the land and planted a flag there. Then, in 2014, Jeremiah Heaton of Virginia, proclaimed himself king of “North Sudan” and his daughter as its princess. In the same year, Dmitry Zhikharev, a Russian amateur radio enthusiast proclaimed the land as his sovereign state. To their credit, all these men actually traveled to Bir Tawil.There have been countless claims by others who merely posted their proclamations on line, without ever venturing away from their computers. So Suyash Dixit is only the latest in a long string of self-appointed leaders of the land. The United Nations is not about to place any faith in their validity.
There are, however, more fundamental reasons why no one can take Dixit, or any of the others, seriously. First, none of them have any real authority, nor was there any long-term commitment to their domain. Dixit could only be King for a day. For the Egyptian military, which had to escort him to the site, ordered him to be off the land on the very same day he arrived.
Second, a king is not a king unless he has subjects willing to follow. Dixit didn’t have a single one. Also a king’s first duty is to protect his domain and its people. Dixit had no intention or capability of doing either. He applauded himself for merely making the trip there, a land whose only inhabitants are scorpions and terrorists. Like many, Dixit covets the title of king, but not its responsibilities and duties.
So, is Dixit an actual king of anything? No, nor should he seek to be until he first learns to rule himself. Only those who learn to conquer their own vices, habits, moods, and childishness are fit to lead others. People who take pleasure in mere titles but have no stomach for the duties and obligations that come with them do not qualify to be kings – or any other kind of leader.
There once was a young man, the youngest of his brothers, who was called to be king in his father’s place. Instead of relishing the privileges and honor of that position, this young man turned to God out of a deep sense of inadequacy. But he didn’t pray for his own safety, protection, or wealth. He pleaded with God to give him wisdom and understanding to properly lead his people. His first priority was caring for the people God had placed in his charge. His attitude greatly pleased God’s heart. That young man was Solomon and God made him the wisest, richest, and greatest king in his day. Forever after, Solomon would be the standard by which all subsequent kings were measured (1 Kings 3:3-14).
God calls many people to be leaders. But according to Him, the very essence of leadership is servanthood – serving and caring for those one leads (Mark 10:43-45). It’s not about titles, positions, and honor. It’s all about serving and placing the mission and the needs of others before one’s own. That’s what made Solomon great. According to Philippians 2:3-11, it’s the reason Christ was highly exalted and given the name above all names. And it’s the path to true greatness for everyone who wishes to lead.
Dear Father in heaven, please expunge from my heart and mind all childish notions of leadership – barking out orders, enjoying the respect of others, or relishing a title, position, and rank. Help me, dear Father, to follow Christ as my example of leadership, who did not come to be served, but to serve and give His life a ransom for many. Amen.