I’m not sure I buy a lot of the political rhetoric like let’s “Bring America Back.” I watch our candidates including our President use the phrase as a means to rouse the crowd. It is this elusive idea that I’m right and they are wrong – follow me and I’ll bring American back! What exactly does it mean to bring America back? Where did it go? Where do you want to take it to? What period of history are you referring to? How far back are you trying to get?
Here’s a crazy thought. We got to where we are because of where we’ve been! Why do you want to take us back to the same place that ultimately led to where we are now? You want to relive what? You want to take us back to the past that created today’s reality – No Thanks! I don’t call that leadership. I don’t call that change. I don’t call that visionary! Why do again the same things that created our current predicament? Remember greatness is a process and not a destination – the same goes for success. Creating a promising future required charting and taking a new course. Going back only gives permission to relive the same mistakes. Our world is rapidly changing and requires leadership willing to “shape” the future forward. I really like the Star Trek motto right about now – “To boldly go where no man has gone before.” Actually sounds Pauline.
There’s a great deal of application to many a church today with this same argument. I’ve heard church leaders cry out to return the “glory” days of their church. It’s a snap shot in history where we remember things being better than they actually were. If we can just go back and do what we did before, we’ll know success again. Really?!? Don’t you realize you are where you are due much in part to where you’ve been? Do you really want to go back and do the things which ultimately led to the current state you now experience? That’s not vision. That’s turning the pages back in the history books to relive the very same mistakes you regret today. Again, it’s about charting a new course and taking a path perhaps few have taken. Real leadership is a fresh wind in a stale environment – it’s a new look at a new future. Let’s not step back, but let’s run forward!