[notice]A monthly column by Marcel van der Watt, lecturer in the Department of Police Practice at UNISA, former police detective, and current member of the Gauteng Rapid Response Task Team for Human Trafficking.[/notice]
The notion of ‘strategy’ often surfaces in the counter-human trafficking discourse when we come together as a multidisciplinary group of stakeholders to formulate long-term plans which will direct us in achieving our ultimate goal: TO STOP MODERN DAY SLAVERY.
Strategy is the art of planning and directing activities in such a way that we progress through most of our battles in an effort to win the war on human trafficking. This concept of ‘strategy’ reminds me of times when one of my two lovely dogs, Mia or Milo, falls ill and some form of medication needs to be induced. My dogs are almost supernaturally sensitive to anything that is not part of their daily routine, or any behaviour that I exhibit which may indicate that ‘something is about to happen’. Succeeding in having one of them swallow a little capsule amongst the 300 kilograms of food consumed by them annually can be quite a formidable task. The fact that they know my voice, behaviour, daily routine and a host of other characteristics means that they are consistently making deductions about the status quo. However, some of these deductions may be skewed and an effort to restrain Milo in order to provide him with lifesaving medication could be interpreted as a threat to cause harm. It’s during such times when my love for Milo might not be so evident to him.
I am greatly encouraged when I think of God as a strategist who positioned each and every one of us purposefully to bring light into a dark world. Part of this strategy is for us to understand that not everything that happens in life has an immediate purpose or outcome, but that God encourages us to obediently wait for Him to provide the answer. Romans 8:28 reminds us that ‘all things work together for the good of those who love God: those who are called according to His purpose’. For those preparing to confront any form of injustice during 2014, let’s be encouraged by David who remembered how God [strategically] delivered him from both the lion and the bear’s paw. David drew strength from God’s past faithfulness and was ready and confident to confront Goliath (1 Samuel 17:34-40).
Let’s wait obediently on God and trust that He knows what is best for us. Let us remember the Ultimate by not becoming slaves to the immediate!