It was before my time, but I’ve heard and read ‘the speech’ many times. It inspires me every time I do. JFK made the speech at Rice University on Sept 12, 1962. If it’s new to you, he was talking about the outrageous idea of putting a man on the Moon. America had unexpectedly fallen behind the Soviet Union in the space race and putting a man on the Moon was the only way for America to regain prominence. Losing to the Soviets in anything was seen as a failure of democracy.
Here’s my favourite part of the speech:
We choose to go to the Moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard; because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one we intend to win, and the others, too.
I remembered the speech this morning as I was describing my current work situation to someone. I’ve taken on a new, more significant and much more complex challenge than what I’ve ever done before. It’s taking time to sort out how we will proceed and what it will look like as we move forward. I’m making more time to wait and to ‘be’ in the moment as I watch for what I don’t know I’m looking for. I can’t describe it yet, but I’ll know it when I see it.
While I wait, I’m brainstorming, sharing and reflecting with friends and colleagues who understand the road that I (and we) are walking together. The easy way to do my new job is to pursue the same low hanging fruit that everyone else is going after. It’s easy and comfortable, but it won’t give me the kind of impact that I’m looking for, so I’m choosing the hard option. I’m choosing the road where we think that the doors might be closed but could swing open with the right approach and ‘knock’ if we’re willing to try. I’m choosing a road that will stretch both our team and me. We will be better for it because stretching will increase our capacity for more effective and fruitful ministry.
We are choosing our version of going to the Moon. We call it establishing our work in Ottawa. It will require the best from us and a flood of God-sized miracles. I can hardly wait to see it unfold!