For many are called, but few are chosen. (Matthew 22:14.)
Why are few chosen? Does humility have anything to do with it? I think it is interesting to do a comparative study of the reactions of a few great leaders, after they were called.
The Maid of Orleans – Joan of Arc:
I heard the voice on my right, in the direction of the Church [i.e., the little Church of St. Rémy near her house], and rarely do I hear it without a light. This light comes from the same side as the voice…. It seemed to me a worthy voice, and I believed it was sent to me by God; after I had heard this voice the third time, I knew that it was the voice of an angel.
It taught me to be good, to go regularly to church. It told me that I should come into France [i.e., territory loyal to the Dauphin]… This voice told me, two or three times a week, that I must go away and that I must come to France… It told me that I should raise the siege laid to the city of Orléans. The voice told me also that I should go to Robert de Baudricourt at the town of Vaucouleurs, who was the [garrison] commander of the town, and he would provide people to go with me. And I replied that I was a poor girl who knew neither how to ride nor lead in war. (Barrett’s”The Trial of Jeanne d’Arc”, p 43-44.)
General George Washington:
Mr. President, Tho’ I am truly sensible of the high Honour done me, in this Appointment, yet I feel great distress, from a consciousness that my abilities and military experience may not be equal to the extensive and important Trust: However, as the Congress desire it, I will enter upon the momentous duty, and exert every power I possess in their service, and for support of the glorious cause. I beg they will accept my most cordial thanks for this distinguished testimony of their approbation.
But, lest some unlucky event should happen, unfavourable to my reputation, I beg it may be remembered, by every Gentleman in the room, that I, this day, declare with the utmost sincerity, I do not think myself equal to the Command I am honored with.
As to pay, Sir, I beg leave to assure the Congress, that, as no pecuniary consideration could have tempted me to have accepted this arduous employment, at the expence of my domestic ease and happiness, I do not wish to make any proffit from it. I will keep an exact Account of my expences. Those, I doubt not, they will discharge, and that is all I desire. (Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774-1789, FRIDAY, JUNE 16, 1775.)
And Moses said unto the Lord, O my Lord, I am not eloquent, neither heretofore, nor since thou hast spoken unto thy servant: but I am slow of speech, and of a slow tongue. (Exodus 4:10.)
And it came to pass that it was for the space of many hours before Moses did again receive his natural strength like unto man; and he said unto himself: Now, for this cause I know that man is nothing, which thing I never had supposed. (Moses 1:10, the Pearl of Great Price.)
And when Enoch had heard these words, he bowed himself to the earth, before the Lord, and spake before the Lord, saying: Why is it that I have found favor in thy sight, and am but a lad, and all the people hate me; for I am slow of speech; wherefore am I thy servant? (Moses 6:31, the Pearl of Great Price.)
All great leaders who did great things. All humble, but far from letting their sense of worth keep them from becoming those great leaders, with God beside them, they responded out of their sense of duty.