I stopped by Heaven’s gate to drop a hello the other day and was just in time to hear the Father say: ‘We welcome a great leader’
Ahh, perfect timing, I think. I join the applause and step aside to make room for the great leader. A moment later, I still don’t see anyone. I look around. There’s no one behind me. Did he go back?
Just as I was thinking about how best to present my many problems, an angel nudges me with his wing. ‘He’s talking about you,’ he whispers.
‘Me? Not possible,’ I laugh. ‘It’s not my type they’re looking for.’
To convince him, I launch into a one-sided debate on why I could never be a leader.
‘You know where I come from, don’t you?’
The angel nods. A puzzled look on his face.
‘I can’t contest and win a local government election in my village. Who knows me?!! Besides, I’m not disciplined at all. I think I suffer from attention-deficit-disorder because I can’t focus on one thing, My IQ is only room-temperature high and cold porridge has more attitude than me…my character, well, let’s just say my character would not be out of place in the Jungle Book. Geez! I don’t even have 15 followers on Instagram and Twitter put together. And half of my friends on Facebook don’t even know me.’
When I am done, the angel is looking lost. Then he says, ‘Come’. Next thing I know, I’m standing before a burning bush looking like an African Moses in my dashiki. I am wondering if it is all a dream when I hear a voice say, ‘Moses, Moses, take off your sandals.’ I comply.
‘I am sending you to Pharaoh. You must lead my people out of Egypt.’
Maybe there is someone else called Moses behind me. I look around. I only see sheep.
‘Me? Are you talking to me?’
‘How many Moses do you see?’ the voice asks
‘But I stu-stutter,’ I say, ‘I can’t string two words together.’
He is not impressed. ‘Yet you managed to woo Zipporah.’
‘O-okay. Good point. But nobody knows me. Have you checked my following lately? Only sheep follow me.’
There is a pause. I imagine He is shaking His head. Then He says,
‘First off, you have it all mixed up. ‘They’ are not supposed to know you. They are supposed to know ME. Secondly, you follow me and they’ll follow you because you follow me. In this kingdom, leadership is not so much about who is following you as it is about who you follow.’
Suddenly, the landscape changes and I am standing before the Red Sea. There are millions of people some distance behind me.
‘God!’ I cry, ‘what am I supposed to do?’
‘Move forward,’ God says
‘Into the sea?’
‘Yes. Any objections?’
‘Well, don’t You think we’ll need a ship, a warship specifically.’
‘Okay, we’ll settle for Noah’s ark. Hurry! Please.’
‘What has Noah’s ark got to do with anything? Better get going.’
‘How about swimsuits, Lord? You know, floaters for the children?’
The Voice is quiet, so quiet I can sense the look He is giving me; the kind of look your mother gives you when she’s wondering who turned her child into a turkey. I borrow some common sense to myself and scramble out of there
‘Let’s go people,’ I bellow to the crowd
‘Go where?’, someone asks
‘Into the Sea.’
‘Are you mad?’
‘That is a possibility which we cannot verify right now. What we can do right now however, is make a decision. We have three options.’
‘Didn’t know we had that many options,’ someone else sneers.
‘Option one, we stay here.’ Immediately, there is an uproar. Everybody trying to speak all at once. I raise my staff and point at a guy with a long beard.
‘But we can’t. We’ll die of starvation. Besides pharaoh and his minions are just around the corner’.
‘Strike option one then,’ I say, ‘Option two, we go back to Egypt.’
‘Go back? Seriously Moses, you think we haven’t thought about that? But thanks to you, if we go back now, the Egyptians will surely kill us for revenge. You killed all their first-born sons remember?’
‘I do,’ I reply testily. I’m thinking I don’t like this guy. He seems the rebellious kind. But I continue,
‘So, we can’t stay here and we can’t go back. That brings us to option three, we move forward.’
‘You seem to be forgetting one tiny detail.’ It’s bearded guy again. Sigh. I brace myself for what is coming. He must be from the tribe of Korah. ‘There is a sea in front of us. Not a puddle. A sea!!!’
‘Yes, about that, we’re simply going with the plan. The map says we go that way.’
‘I’m sure you missed the part of the plan where it said, ‘Get a ship’
‘Erm, not really. I double-checked the plan with headquarters and it is legit.’
‘But we’ll DIE!!!’
‘But we’ll die any other way too. We might as well die moving forward’.
I turn to go. Miraculously, they follow me.
So we move forward and discover a timeless secret – that every obstacle is a door, every difficulty, a path and every Red Sea, a bridge to the other side.
When I blink again, I am standing beside the angel on a golden sidewalk and he’s staring at me so hard, I start to think he’s turning me to fossil.
Then he says, ‘Leadership is obedience and the courage to move forward. When life throws you a curveball, don’t stand still, don’t go back. Move forward. Grow, learn, discover, stretch, crawl, whatever you do, keep moving forward. Take ownership of the change you desire and deserve. The rule is progress, not perfection. Keep walking.
‘What if I am not ready,’ I ask.
‘Ready? Who says you have to be ready? You were born ready. Move forward!’
Written by Grace Ukanwoke