Exit Strategies

When my dad decided to forego “maintenance therapy” for his health condition, knowing that the therapy would thoroughly impoverish his ability to live a productive life, he told the health care professionals, “I want to die and receive the new body Jesus came to give me.” He had an exit strategy.

One year into his term (1995) as the first black president of South Africa, Nelson Mandela was asked if he would seek re-election in 1999, to which he replied, “Oh, no, definitely not.” He had an exit strategy.

October 9, 2012, Malala Yousafzai had just boarded her school bus and had made it about 100 yards down the road when members of the Taliban stopped the bus, identified her, and shot her in the head. At the time, a group of consulting physicians from England were in Pakistan. One of them, Fiona Reynolds, was asked about the best path to rehabilitation. Reynolds said that everything that Malala would need would be available in Birmingham. And so it was that Malala recovered in Queen Elizabeth hospital in Birmingham. This doctor had an exit strategy.

Around 30 AD it has been a tumultuous six-week period during which Jesus had been falsely accused, crucified, buried, resurrected and, for about forty days, seen by various people in the vicinity. On this particular day, Jesus took his disciples outside to eat. There were eleven disciples, the twelfth having carried out his desperate exit strategy in a field, later called the field of blood. After eating, Jesus blessed the disciples and then his body left the ground. It continued to rise until it was hidden behind a cloud. He had an exit strategy.

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