Let’s say I’m the world’s foremost expert in solving a problem you have. And suddenly you find yourself in crisis mode. You don’t know anyone else who knows how to fix the problem. The meltdown begins. So you pick up the phone and call me, because I absolutely would know exactly what you can do to fix it.
Except I don’t answer your call. You hear that pleasant little voicemail recording: “The person at the number you dialed is unavailable right now.” I may have all the answers, but that’s absolutely unhelpful to you if I’m not available.
During our Communicators for Christ world tour this year, we have explored what it means to be ready to speak. We took a look at the story of Moses and the burning bush found in Exodus. Wow. What powerful modern-day parallels can be found there.
Moses, a Hebrew raised in the palace of Egypt, grew up with the best possible education of the day. He was equipped with all the knowledge and competencies available to any living humans. Moses was being prepared for legacy. That means he was coached in the art of communicating his ideas well. Those in power empowered their offspring to use their power, which included using their voice for influence. Sometimes for good. Sometimes for evil. Moses would have gotten plenty of this expert training.
So Moses is – technically – ready to speak.
But when he runs away from home and sees the burning bush, we realize there is more to the story. In Exodus 3, God tells Moses, “I have indeed seen the misery of my people in Egypt” and commands him to go do something about it. He promises to be with Moses.
As we read on and into Exodus 4, we see Moses has all the “what ifs” ready for his argument. Who am I to go save the Israelites? What if they challenge my testimony? What if they don’t listen to me? What if I can’t speak eloquently?
The dialogue that follows is some incredibly powerful stuff when you’re looking at our call to communicate for Christ. We’ll dig more into that even more during our live training events. But what we see in Moses is the lack of something integral to being ready to speak.
Even though he has a voice and technically knows what to do, he isn’t willing. He isn’t available.
Being ready to speak requires both ability and availability. To be able isn’t helpful when we’re unavailable. When we look around and see the suffering in the world, the need for Jesus, it’s our calling to do this one thing – be available and prepared to speak life.
Just like that example with your problem, you never know what your availability could mean for others.
Ability and availability. Being ready means being both.