Thursday, April 9, 2009

What’s important?

by John D Ramsey

Today was a long grueling day full of risks with lasting implications. It was not business as usual. Business as usual is hard enough most days. This was harder. Taking action fully knowing the outcome is inglorious frightened me, but it apparently did not deter me. “Time will tell,” the saying goes. C’est la guerre, such is business.

I drove to work while the nearly full moon was up. An hour later, I stood in an early empty office building watching a red sunrise portending a stormy day. It was Black Ops Thursday; but this day the office camaraderie would defer to crisis management. There was no playbook, just the Black Ops team and me sticking our necks out and asking, “Is there a better way?” I made mistakes: public mistakes. I hope no one else remembers them, but I know I will. As a programmer, I expected to make mistakes, as a manager I loathe them.

There were encouragements. Black Ops Thursday is catching on. I tried to thank each person who wore black today. I noticed on my way out this afternoon that I had overlooked someone. Well, thank you, belatedly. I appreciate the show of support. I expect an announcement soon that Black Ops is no longer a command hierarchy, but rather a grassroots quality initiative emphasizing teamwork and intensity.
  • Lead from the front
  • Lead by example
  • Follow the one who is leading
  • Defer to authority
  • Be accountable to all
That summarizes Black Ops. It happens when enough people want it to happen.

If I had a choice, I would have focused this week on the Passion of Christ. Instead, too much urgency held me too long in the office. Today, Thursday, marks the day of the Crucifixion. Yes, I know churches celebrate Good Friday, but the Gospels do not support the same conclusion as the Church. That should not be surprising; the Bible seldom aligns with theological or ecclesiological systems. Or rather, theological and ecclesiological systems seldom align with the Bible. If they did, we wouldn’t meet in churches, or pass collection bucket-bag-plates, and pastors wouldn’t deliver oratory. All that is convenient church tradition, but it isn’t Scriptural. That’s my assertion, but don’t take my word for it, read the Book without picking up a commentary.

Likewise, we shouldn’t be surprised to find that there are too many conflicts in the Gospel records to support a Friday crucifixion. Nevertheless, a Thursday crucifixion aligns all the Gospel accounts perfectly. I had wanted to explore all the evidence. Instead, I settled for some “tweets” on the topic. Last year, I wrote out dozens of questions and corresponding Scripture passages. Dad reminded me on Twitter that I had done that. I have 19 pages of questions and answers that I wrote for the men’s Bible Study I taught and may teach again. If you’re interested in studying it, just email me and I’ll clean it up a bit and send it to you.

Tonight, I need to wrap this up. Tomorrow’s challenges await. As I reflect on my week, I regret not focusing on what I think is important. Such introspections are selfish by nature, however. Doing what is put in front of me is important even if it is not what I want it to be.

As a consolation, I remind myself that this morning before I even spotted the moon or the red sunrise, as I was leaving to head to the office, Gabby rushed downstairs to say goodbye. She stood in the garage bleary-eyed and struggling to wake up. It was 04:30 hours, but she awakened to say goodbye. I told her, “There’s my early girl.” She smiled, and I gave her a hug and kiss before starting the car and heading to work.

Had I not needed to sacrifice my schedule for the needs of the office, Gabby would never have needed to awaken so early just to kiss me goodbye. Nevertheless, waking to the sound of the garage door and rushing down to see me in the morning was important to her.

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