The author is attempts to explain to us how one becomes a leader after being subjected to challenging circumstances. The author uses the analogy of going through the process of blacksmithing. He explains that those that can stand to go through the tempered times are true leaders. He predicts that those that can withstand “the fire” can ultimately avoid “failure of nerve”.
In the book Practical Blacksmithing, chapter three explains welding, brazing, and soldering. It states that “the act of joining metals by the aid of heat is technically known as welding, brazing, and soldering. The first is applied to iron and steel by heating the surface to be joined to a fusible state, then, by repeated blows or by pressure, unite the particles and restore the whole to a condition similar to that existing before the metal was severed”. After reading this description given in this process I was able to gather a better understanding of the reason the author used this analogy. I can visually picture the changes that would happen as the heat is applied.
Consequently, I thought of an analogy to this description as well. The author mentions two great leaders in his writing Moses and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. he described that it was their faith that helped them to get past what should have kept them down. In my analogy, I thought about just that; “Faith”. In the process of building faith there is usually some climax to ones story. In other words the heat is turned on. When the heat is turned on in our lives we weaken in both strength and/or faith. This weakening represents our fusible state. As the trials, tribulations and hurts are hitting us with repeated blows and placing pressure on us as christians we unite with our father. This process grows our faith, we are restored and ultimately made whole.
The Bible also shares a story of Shadrach, Meshach and Abendnego. These three men were placed in a fire that never burned them because of their faith. One could imagine that they were hot, weakened, and changing but because of their faithfulness they were united with their father. After going through this tempering not only would they become great leaders but because of their faith the witnesses would desire this same resilience.
In each example there is a climax that represents our tempered experience. In this experience when the temperature is turned up the leader has to change something through the process. The leader has to choose if he will exercise great resilience or throw in the towel. The R&B singer Chaka Khan says in song “through the fire, to the limit, through whatever” this kind of resilience is what it takes to become a great leader. Many books will tell us that there’re a host of alternative ways to gain the resilience we need to make it through our trials. No matter what challenge is faced we must remember that it is our faith that will determine our fate.