Egypt, The Golden Calf, and Divine Timing

The Egyptian Revolution has been spellbinding. Watching the “power of the People” is an uplifting and inspiring global experience. Now that the preliminary goal, Mubarak’s removal, has been achieved the real work and challenges begin.

History provides us instruction.

In ancient Egypt, the Hebrew slaves agonized for freedom from the tyranny of Pharaoh as have modern day Egyptians from Mubarak’s rule. Once achieved, the Hebrews made initial efforts to organize and proceed with solidarity toward a common goal of personal freedom.  However, when their interim leader, Moses, was delayed in his return from Sinai, the impatient Hebrews were quick to revert to what was comfortingly familiar… idol worship.  Only Moses’ personal commitment and charisma were able to set the Israelites back on the road to freedom. And ultimately, the desired outcome became a reality in Divine timing, not theirs.

The lesson? Patience.

Its 48 hours since Mubarak’s fall and already there is renewed confrontation and remaining unrest on the streets of Cairo and elsewhere as demonstrators, so effective at bringing down the regime, are impatient with the inevitably slow process that must follow in successfully moving a People from bondage to freedom.

Technology made their success possible.  If the People do not exercise restraint and patience, that same technology may be the reason they too find themselves quickly returning to the familiar… dictatorial rule in calf’s clothing.

Technology, by its inherent speed, makes our human nature’s inclination toward instant gratification all that more immediate. We want everything NOW and if we can’t get it, we immediately go elsewhere… and not always to our advantage.

The generation that affected the Revolution in Egypt has been raised with technology.  They expect things to happen quickly.  My concern is that youth, in the absence of real leadership, will follow the modern day version of what seduced the Israelites.  And further, absent a Moses, will fall prey to those dressed as the Golden Calf.

All growth takes time. It is only human hubris that thinks it occurs in anything other than Divine Time.

Recently, I had surgery and my recovery prevented me, for about two weeks, from posting a blog.  I lost readership in that time and fielded emails complaining of the absence of new material. When we are used to getting what we want, and expect, our impatience leaves no room for the natural unfolding of events.

Let us pray that those in Egypt, who have so wisely used the tools of modernity, will translate that wisdom into knowing that the hard work begins now and impatience leads only to arriving in the wrong place at the wrong time.

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