To budge is: 'to cause to move; to begin to move'.
If I don't budge in the morning, I don't get out of bed. If my children don't budge when they're getting ready for school, we end up late.
Though there's more at stake than me getting out of bed.
Globally, we witness economic instability, global terrorism, millions of asylum seekers looking for refuge and Western democracies caught in the midst of circumstances requiring strong, decisive leadership.
The issues are great and the pressure is immense. Though, I suggest that if leaders of influence fail to act, and do not make clear, strong, godly decisions in a rapidly changing 21st century context, we become inundated with complexities far beyond anything we started with.
The fear that many in our communities have today is not so much that great global and societal issues might impact us, but rather that leaders who do not budge will effectively cause these issues to impact us. If leaders choose to remain in places of indecisiveness then we cannot progress in dealing with complex societal issues.
If leaders, for instance, do not make strong decisions about how they deal with growing Islamic militancy in the global community, then by doing nothing the problem worsens. If we abdicate making difficult decisions about protecting people fleeing from war, the issue will continue to gnaw away. When leaders of churches fail to budge from old ideas, they don't preserve their church: they kill it.
As an Australian who has just witnessed the handing down of the Federal Budget for the financial year to come, here is my concern: Australian politicians continually speak about the enormous deficit of the Australian economy and that something needs to be done urgently. Then when the budget is handed down, no great change is announced and nothing moves. We tinker around the edges and fail to make any substantial difference. The leaders have failed to budge. The budget didn't budge-it.
By failing to budge, we merely perpetuate the problems.
No great change comes without great leadership. Arguably, in today's context, we see the Donald Trumps of the world flourish, not because they have good morals or great insights, but because they will choose to budge. They may well move things in the wrong direction, but society is so sick of not moving, they'd rather vote in someone like Trump who at least will get things moving.
I think it's time that good leaders budge.
In an era of economic instability, politicians must budge.
One cannot simply alert its people to the fundamental problems of its economy, if there is no intention to move forward with creative solutions to resolve the problems.
In an era of scores of asylum seekers seeking refuge, governments must budge.
Tightening the borders seems to be the flavour of the month. Yet, while governments fail to recognise and welcome genuine refugees, millions of people live in limbo, simply disadvantaged by the geographical location in which they were born.
In an era of declining churches, denominational leaders must budge.
To fail to find new ways of doing old things, will be to the demise of the Christian church. The message stays the same, but the methods must change.
In an era that celebrates individual achievement and prosperity, society must budge towards the disadvantaged.
Some people are disadvantaged simply because they weren't born in an affluent society. We must distribute our wealth. We cannot renege our responsibility to help the poor. If we haven't budged already, we need to. Loving our neighbour was not an optional extra.
When we choose to budge, we choose to begin to move. Ultimately, we move towards the betterment of our societies, for the glory of God.
I am reminded that if I don't budge in the morning, I don't get out of bed; nothing gets done and I am still left with all the pressing issues from the day before and no doubt a truckload full of dirty dishes.
We must budge.
Pete Brookshaw is the Senior Minister of The Salvation Army Craigieburn. He has a Bachelor of both Business and Theology and is passionate about the church being dynamic and effective in the world and creating communities of faith that are outward-focused, innovative, passionate about the lost and committed to societal change. He has been blogging since 2006 at http://www.petebrookshaw.com about leadership and faith and you can find him on:
Peter Brookshaw’s previous articles may be viewed at http://www.pressserviceinternational.org/peter-brookshaw.html