Guest Post by Rabbi John Crites-Borak
Launching Leaders Worldwide Advisory Council
Certain words and phrases come to mind when I think about Launching Leaders: personal development, leadership, faith, values, planning, progress, purpose, fulfillment, success, joy. Each addresses an individual aspect of the Launching Leaders program linked by—and contained in—a larger concept I think of as ‘journey’.
My dictionary defines ‘journey’ as an act of traveling from one place to another. That’s good as far as it goes, but it raises important questions as we consider what to do with our lives. First of all, what is our destination? Where do we want to go over the course of our lives? How will we get there? What lies between where we are and where we want to be? What useful assets do we already possess? What will we need to acquire before we set off, and what might be collected along the way? What obstacles might we encounter? How will we stay on course? Will we need a guide? What will inspire and give us strength to overcome the inevitable difficulties?
The Old Testament Book of Exodus offers an instructive model. The ancient Hebrews are slaves in a land they call Mitzrayim. They have been slaves for over four hundred years. Though they may yearn for freedom, they see no possibility of it. Then Moses arrives bearing a message from God: Go and assemble the elders of Israel and say to them: the Lord, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, has appeared to me and said, ‘I have taken note of you and of what is being done to you in Egypt, and I have declared: I will take you out of the misery of Egypt … to a land flowing with milk and honey (Exodus 3:16-17).
The Hebrew word for Egypt, Mitzrayim, literally means “narrow places.” God vows to take the Hebrews out of the ‘narrow places’ of their current circumstances to a Promised Land where all their aspirations might be fulfilled. It is a land of plenty, a land flowing with milk and honey. Between the two lies a journey, an adventure requiring daring, hard work, persistence, faith and fellowship. It is the journey through a Wilderness toward fulfillment, success and joy.
However you define the narrow places of your current life situation, no matter what your destination, Launching Leaders will facilitate your journey toward the future. In the company of similarly dedicated and motivated people, together with a Mentor who knows the territory, you will achieve the promised land of your highest aspirations.