By Ron F. Hale
"Forward" was a great campaign theme Mr. President but I sure hope you know the story of Moses and Joshua and the great adventure called the Exodus!
Moses was called to lead the Hebrew people out of Egypt and into the Promised Land. The promise of this land was first made to Abraham in Genesis 12:7 and was repeated in (Gen. 13:15, 15:18, and 17:8).
The Book of Exodus describes how Moses led the Israelites out of Egypt. It also shares the receiving of the Ten Commandments, their refusal to cross the Jordan River into the land of the giants, and their wilderness wanderings in boondocks of the Bible.
Moses doesn’t make it to the Promised Land; he dies. This brings a crisis of belief into the lives of the people. Who will lead them forward?
God raised up Joshua to lead the people forward. He had been the apprentice of Moses, and he had the respect of the people. He leads the people to cross the Jordan River and the towering walls of Jericho crumble like a box of cheap crackers. God brings victory after victory as the people of God secure and conquer the land of Canaan – the Promised Land.
Moses and Joshua lived out “the Four P’s” of strategic communication as they led their people on a bold new journey; they shared the purpose, a picture of success, and a plan for getting there, and the part each person can play. Mr. President, “We the People” need to hear the following:
In leading our nation, we need to know your purpose behind this “forward” journey. What is the overall purpose for the changes you are bringing about? Mr. President, you are a great communicator, but where are you taking us? Moses and Joshua were very clear about the destination. Many of us are still very confused about your final target!
What will be the outcome of going forward with you? What will it actually look like in the end? Moses painted a picture of a land flowing with milk and honey. It would be a land filled with the blessings of God Almighty. What will America look like in twenty years; this is after the impact of your eight years of leading us? Paint a picture of your “dream” like Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. did on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial when I was a ten year old boy. Will we be judged by the content of our character as we seek to make our nation an oasis of freedom and justice? Will the glory of the Lord be a concern of yours, like it was for Dr. King?
Mr. President … what are the strategic steps forward? Are we flying by the seat of our pants, or are you a man with a plan? Are we going forward with a step by step plan that will help transition us to a new and better tomorrow? What are the bold new action steps that we must take as a people? What will be the little victories that we can celebrate along the way? How will we know if we are really moving “forward” or just spinning our wheels in the wilderness?
What part can I play Mr. President to help move this country forward? I love my country and desire to see it prosper. Years ago, President Kennedy said, “My fellow Americans, ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.” Sir, what can I do to help America?
We are a people that have built long bridges over great rivers. We have tunneled through mountains of stone to lay railroad tracks. We have built a great system of highways. We have built skyscrapers and stadiums. We have sent men to the moon and cosmic contraptions to the far reaches of space. We have fought world wars and rebuilt other nations. Mr. President, what can each one of us do? What must we sacrifice -- together?
Please give me a part to play and hold me accountable for the results, because “We the people” will most certainly hold you accountable.
William Bridges, Managing Transitions: Making the Most of Change (Reading, Mass., Addison-Wesley Publishing, 1991), p. 50-59.
Ron F. Hale has served local churches and at the denominational level for over thirty-five years.
© Ron F. Hale, November 29, 2012