A Tough Act to Follow

Comparison is an every day happening. We constantly  measure our weakness  by someone else’s strength. Stepping into the shoes of another  can  cause dissatisfaction and anxiety. The idiom, a tough act to follow,  has been around since vaudeville days . It implies that  a person or something was so successful and  popular that whoever or  whatever comes next can’t be as good.  Here are two examples of “a tough act to follow”. 1. Johnny  Carson , who manned the iconic late night TV desk for 30 years, received six Emmys and was inducted into the TV Hall of Fame. When Carson  retired, Jay Leno stepped in with some success but never quite the same level. 2. The CBS Evening News was anchored for 19 years by Walter Cronkite. During the 1960’s and 70’s, he was know as the most trusted man in America  (a tough act to follow). Dan Rather was Cronkite’s successor. Wonder how he felt his first day on the job? The Bible has many stories of leadership passing from one to another. The comparisons are in print for all to see. Moses is the most important human figure in Judaism. He promulgated the 10 plagues of God that secured the release of Israel from Egyptian captivity. Moses received the stone tablets with the ten commandments written by God’s finger on Mt. Sinai. He shepherded two million complaining people to the edge of the  Promised Land but was disqualified from going in himself. At Moses death, Joshua, his faithful assistant, was appointed leader by God himself . He lead the Jordan crossing and the seven year conquest of the Promised Land. Many of the 31 kings were defeated under miraculous circumstances. Joshua also supervised the land division for the 12 tribes. His faithfulness as a leader was demonstrated in Joshua 24:15 “Choose this day whom you will serve. As for me and my house we will serve the Lord.” Verse 29 says  “Joshua, son of Nun, the servant of the Lord, died at the  he age of 110.” Israel served the Lord throughout  Joshua’s lifetime. That’s a tough act to follow.