The Day I Was President

[dropcap custom_class="wh"] T [/dropcap]he packet said For Your Eyes Only. Inside was a brief on the current situation, with the Soviet Union positioning itself to march into Iran and capture its oil fields. The information I had indicated that western civilization would end if the Soviets were allowed to take Iran. I was the President of the United States, and it was my job to keep that from happening at all costs, even if that meant using nuclear weapons to do so.

This was a Cold War simulation in Boston, where I was paired with some of the best thinkers at Harvard, and pitted against a 40-year expert in Soviet affairs. I'd asked for the role because I wanted to experience the pressure our leaders face when making decisions that impact the world. What I learned was invaluable.

The scenario was simple on paper, but overly complex in reality, and designed intentionally to exploit the differences in governmental leadership between the two superpowers. On the US side, I had a cabinet of twelve, including the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs (an actual officer from the Naval War College in full dress), my Chief of Staff (Professor Tom Nichols, Naval War College), and nine others from across the country. None of them had all of the information, and no one knew what I did.

There was a larger Soviet team, as well as a United Nations contingent and a Press Corps.


And the weekend proved to be one of the most exhilarating and exhausting 72 hours on the job that I've experienced.

I've led weekend-long brainstorm sessions and business workshops, but this was different. This came with the pressure I'd put on myself--a test I needed to endure. Could I be a good US President?

"Even in a simulation, the idea of going to war and using nuclear weapons is intense."



Tomorrow's the day; I have reached the end. I have come to the point of no return. The miracles I performed have touched thousands; I fed thousands more with two fish and a loaf of bread. And the smiles on the faces of my dearest friends and family tell the story, many times over, of the life I've lived for the Father here. But everything will change tomorrow.

I know what's coming, for I knew of this day before I formed the earth and everything in it. It will be harder than anything man has faced here, but I'll see it through. I love this man so much that I will give my life in exchange for his so that he can be with me in eternity. There is no other way.

I've seen what he will do...the mistakes he will make, the people he will hurt, the pain he will cause so many. But the cross is still worth it to me; I cannot bear to see him lost to the prince of this world.

So I have purposed in my heart to submit to the will of the Father. I will take the beating for this man. For him, they can rip out my beard and spit on me. They can ridicule me and tear the flesh from my body. For this one man, I will allow them to torture me until I am finally able to carry this cross of mine up to the crest of Golgotha. And for him I will pray as they nail my feet and hands to the tree I created, for he doesn't know the depth of his sin and what it will cost him if I don't do this. But I won't lose him to that. He is far too precious to me.

So tomorrow night, when the Romans come with my dear friend, Judas, I will stand and face this death I don't deserve. And while every one of my followers will desert me......and most troublesome of all, while I stand on that cross and watch as the Father turns His face from mine for the very first time......I will follow through on my promise to this man, and it will change his life forever.

I can't wait for tomorrow......