Thursday, September 11

Preparing the Way

Seven years ago, when President Bush was interrupted during a visit to a Sarasota, Florida elementary school with the news that a plane had struck the twin towers of the World Trade Center in New York, he had already been providentially prepared for the Herculean task of leadership that would follow.

Earlier that morning, his regular habit of reading a selection from Oswald Chamber’s classic devotional, My Utmost for His Highest, had led him to a very telling passage--how telling, he would have had no way of knowing at the time. Based on the model of servant-leadership from the Gospel of John, the short reading portended and portrayed the path the president would have to take in the difficult days ahead: “Ministering as opportunity surrounds us does not mean selecting our surroundings, it means being very selectly God's in any haphazard surroundings which He engineers for us. The characteristics we manifest in our immediate surroundings are indications of what we will be like in other surroundings.”

The President would indeed soon find himself in haphazard surroundings. The passage continued even more dramatically: “Towels and dishes and sandals, all the ordinary sordid things of our lives, reveal more quickly than anything what we are made of. It takes God Almighty Incarnate in us to do the meanest duty as it ought to be done.” And finally: “We have to go the ‘second mile’ with God. Some of us get played out in the first ten yards, because God compels us to go where we cannot see the way, and we say, ‘I will wait till I get nearer the big crisis.’ If we do not do the running steadily in the little ways, we shall do nothing in the crisis.”

It is a great comfort to know that regardless of how magnificent or mundane our path may be in the days ahead, God is even now preparing the way for us.

4 comments:

Allen said...

"If we do not do the running steadily in the little ways, we shall do nothing in the crisis.”

Doing 'nothing' would have been better than waging an aggressive war against Iraq, a country that had nothing to do with 9/11. Osama bin Laden is still at large and we have thousands of American soldiers and hundreds of thousands of Iragis dead. What a waste, and according to Nuremberg standards, what a crime.

George Grant said...

Allen: I think that you've articulated a widespread opinion--but it is certainly not the only way to understand the interminable conflicts in the Middle East. Indeed, it is entirely untrue that the cauldron of terror that Saddam created in Iraq was unconnected to either al-Qaeda or the terror attacks. And though he clearly faked his nuclear capabilities, weapons of mass destruction were both available to him and used by him--just ask the Kurds. The historical record is clear on these matters. So, while most would agree that the war in Iraq has not been conducted effectually, the deposing of the Taleban and of the Ba'athists clearly fall under the definition of a "just war."

Josh said...

So, while most would agree that the war in Iraq has not been conducted effectually, the deposing of the Taleban and of the Ba'athists clearly fall under the definition of a "just war."

Neither conflict falls under the cover of constitutionality, though. Congress should have passed declarations of war, the President should have signed them, and we should have set a concrete definition of "victory" in both Iraq and Afghanistan. We've been doing mostly nation-building in both nations for most of the time we've been over there. I do recall President Bush running on a foreign policy of no nation-building after Clintonian blunders in Somalia and the Balkans.

Karen said...

Possibly the terrorists and those who harbor them simply experienced what the WWII Japanese Admiral Yamamoto was coined to have stated after Pearl Harbor, "I fear all we have done is to awaken a sleeping giant and fill him with a terrible resolve." Whether or not Admiral Yamamoto actually ever stated those words or recorded them in his diary…I believe the point is
relevant here. The last time was Pearl Harbor and the result Hiroshama. This time the Twin Towers and the result Afghanastan. As to Iraq, when you boast and play the game in the wake of such periolous times as we experienced, you may just be called to account.

Yes, I am grateful for the man of resolve that George Bush proved to be who chose to do more than “nothing” in making America safer and I hope history vindicates him against some of the Monday morning quarterbacking. Of course, some mistakes are always a part of doing “something” versus “nothing”, and we can certainly learn from them but, one thing is certain; our commander in chief was not going to tolerate terrorism on our shores. So, to all the terrorists and those who harbor them, the battle was taken to their shores and, rightly so.