February 2, 2005
Leadership styles are as varied as the leaders who display them. This has been true since the beginning of time and a quote from Sister Tomas Moore Bertels reminded me some years ago that “Leaders are for a season and for a particular reason.”
A good example is found in Exodus 17 with the account of Joshua and his battle with the Amalekites; however, as if this enemy was not enough, there was also “war in camp”, as my mother used to say. The Israelites were camped in the desert and there was no water for the more than 1 million people.
They had been slaves in Egypt for 430 years and finally, through one of their own, God made it possible to leave the land on their way to freedom.
Of course, the road was not easy and they often accused Moses of taking them places they did not want to go and causing their early deaths. They thought it would be better to have stayed in Egypt where they enjoyed fresh fruit and vegetables.
On this particularly hot and dusty day, there was no water. So, they started in on Moses again. Moses pleased with God and He provided fresh water for them at the rock at Horeb.
Now, to the Amalekites. They attacked the Israelites at Rephidim and Moses called Joshua for help.
Moses knew that extra help was needed, so he took his brother Aaron and Hur, possibly the son of Caleb who had worked along side of Joshua, and they went up to the mountain overlooking the battlefield.
As a sign of victory and blessing, Moses raised his arms. As long as they were raised, the Israelites were winning, but whenever he lowered his arms, they would lose.
His arms grew weary, so Aaron and Hur set him on a rock and supported his arms in the air to assure victory.
To make this relative to today, knowing that December was a difficult month for our community leaders, I can see the importance of being supportive and, in many ways, literally holding up their arms to keep them from tiring and being discouraged.
Santa Paula has come a long way from “Egypt”, so to speak, in only two years, and we are rapidly approaching a time of opportunity and prosperity. The challenge is tough, and we are blessed with civic leaders who need to know they are appreciated and supported.
I’ll even commit to being a “Hur”.