When was the last time you felt you needed to state your position with clarity and conviction? Have you ever had to stand your ground? Do you anticipate that you will need to establish a position in the near future?
What about today?
Is it time to take a stand?
Twitter feeds are filled with position statements.
Blogs promote personal opinions and beliefs.
Social networks share experiences, photos, and short ‘all about my life’ vignettes.
Emails report and share all kinds of information.
These electronic means of communication are not necessarily about standing ground. Or about standing in wait to exhort an important truth. If we miss their thread or skip over their email, we’ve missed their point.
No. If we have something to say, a position to make, a truth to impart, or a word to exhort that will best communicate our position, it needs to be done face to face; person to person, friend to friend, parent to child.
When we need to say something that may be difficult to hear or may even cause misunderstanding, it’s imperative that we do it in person.
Way, way, way back in the days of Moses, there were no Facebook walls, Twitter threads, emails or even phones. When Moses was asked by God to speak, Moses had to walk. Moses physically had to get up, get moving and go to find the person or people whom God wanted to hear His message.
In today’s electronic age, we are quick to type a message and hit ‘send’ or ‘enter.’ Our Facebook notes, twitter feeds, or emails are immediately accessible to those whom we direct our communication.
Not so, in Moses’ day. He had to walk. He had to locate. And he had to wait.
Many of us are familiar with the story and relationship of Moses and the Pharaoh of Egypt. Rather than revisiting the entire narrative of the Plagues of Egypt and the eventual release of the people of Israel from slavery, I want to hone in this encounter…
Then the Lord said to Moses, “Pharaoh’s heart is unyielding; he refuses to let the people go. Go to Pharaoh in the morning as he goes out to the river. Wait on the bank of the Nile to meet him…. Exodus 7: 14-15 NIV
Notice that the Lord first asked Moses to rise up in the early morning. Next, he was asked go and wait for the arrival of the Pharaoh of Egypt at the river bank. Then, Moses was asked to speak in the name of the Lord, the God of the Israelites. It was literally a step by step process of communication preparedness.
Wait comes from the transliterated Hebrew word, natsab. Natsab, as you may have guessed, means to stand, take one’s position, establish, fix, and to be appointed.
Take up your position and wait.
Establish yourself and wait.
Fix your mind and wait.
Stand your ground and wait.
We have no idea how long Moses waited for Pharaoh to reach the river bank. However, Moses knew where to stand in his wait. He was ready. He was prepared. He had been appointed to speak once again to the cold-hearted ruler. It cannot have been an easy thing to do.
This is why I believe the walk, the time it took to go from one distance to another, and the wait-time probably served Moses, the human mouth-piece of God, well. He had time to listen and pray. He had time to compose himself. He had time to wait and take up his position.
Honestly, I think I need more of this kind of wait time in my communication practice; especially when I have to share something that requires the conviction of my heart.
What do you think about that?
Do we need to take a walk and take some time, before we speak and take up our position?
Moses did. At the time, he had no other form of communication. We do. If we paused, reflected and prayed, before speaking our mind, would it make a difference in a world of immediate access?
If so, perhaps our stand might make more of an impact in honor of the name of our Lord.
It may be the exact time and place our God has appointed for us to share His love, grace, mercy, and truth to some one who is ready to listen and receive; person to person, face to face….perhaps even on a river bank.
Photo by mandalaybus of Flickr