“Strike the rock, and water will come out of it for the people to drink."
- Exodus 17:5 (NIV)
Is your business or organization facing uncommon problems right now? Perhaps you need uncommon solutions.
Leaders and organizations may find themselves in situations that threaten their organizations without answers to their crises. Often in such circumstances leaders tend to look at what has worked before or at what other organizations are doing. Pressed by the opinions of people - who will naturally blame their leaders for any problems - and the tyranny of finding a solution now, the leader attempts common solutions which can lead to further challenges. Like a person on a treadmill, they speed up and use more energy, but stay in the same position.
What if the leader paused and prayed for an inspired idea?
Moses sets a good example. The liberated Israelites were thirsty and complaining. The wilderness was dry and uncomfortable. They were out of one extreme situation and getting ready to go in another. They blamed Moses for their problems and he did not have an answer. Moses, managing the opinions of the people and the real need for water, asked God about it.
God’s response was not common: "Moses, strike the rock." Striking a rock to solve a drought certainly is not a common solution. But it worked.
Challenging times require uncommon solutions.
Dr. George Washington Carver wanted the children of ex-slaves to expand their work from beyond the exhausting toil of cotton farming. He wanted them to advance towards more crops such as soybeans and peanuts, thus increasing their capacity and self-sufficiency. But the people’s demanding responsibilities on the farms posed a dilemma: How could they get access to the necessary training?
A man of prayer, Dr. Carver received the inspiration to bring the training to the farmers. He designed and developed the Jesup Wagon, to be used by instructors at Tuskegee Institute. “The ‘movable school’ was the cornerstone of Tuskegee's extension services and epitomized the Institute's doctrines of self-sufficiency and self-improvement”, the National Park Service reports. According to the Alabama News Center, the movable school reached approximately 2,000 people a month throughout its first summer.
During that challenging time, Dr. Carver did not yield to conventional wisdom. Instead he prayed and developed an uncommon solution. Like Moses, he struck the rock.
It’s time for you to strike the rock.
Leader, there is an answer to your current challenges or opportunities for improvement. It’s time for you to pray outside the box, think outside the box, and receive, as Job 32:8 says, “the inspiration of the Almighty which gives understanding.”
May God give you His wisdom and the gift of faith to strike the rock.
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