Thursday, February 25, 2010
I had a pretty cool experience yesterday. Jenn and I had gone to church in Lafayette on Saturday as part of our marriage class. On Sunday, she went with her parents to Chicago to see a play (it was their Christmas present to her). So I was pretty much planning to chill for the morning. However, about 10:15, I had this sense that maybe it would be a good idea to go to church again. My initial thought was the Methodist church that I went to in college. However, it was very close to 10:30 by the time it became clear to go to church so the next option was St. Joseph’s chapel at 11:00. So I’m sitting there in the chapel looking at the windows and paintings and Brother Tim comes up and says that he needed to contact me this week. He asked if I could be an adult leader for the Kairos retreat at the end of March. I’m extremely excited!
So the excitement kind of wore off when reality started to set in regarding the next few months. I mean, hello, Jenn and I are getting married! And there are still minor things like work, commuting, and the MBA program to balance as well. Something had to give. So after discussing with Jenn and a running friend, it made sense to shift the marathon out to the fall.
This still kind of fits into the theme of the original post, though, because it becomes part of an even longer term plan. It has also highlighted to me the need to listen to that still small voice and recognize that my plans might not always be the right plans.
Monday, February 22, 2010
First, it really is important to set long-term goals and plan accordingly. This is very difficult for me because I like to be able to complete a short project and move onto something else. That is why the school environment worked so great for me. A new project or paper was always on the horizon. Each semester brought all new classes. However, a longer term perspective is important, too. Where am I going? From where have I come?
Second, rest is extremely important. The training schedule that I am using recommends rests on Monday and Friday. This is difficult. It is difficult to just rest. Yet, without this rest, injury is much more likely as I learned last year. The rest also provides a chance to regroup and regain some energy. Rest also been very difficult for me and I struggle with it all the time - just being able to sit back and relax.
So for this story and chapters to come, I am thankful.
Sunday, February 21, 2010
“He was hungry.” (Luke 4:2b, NKJV)
You have to be kidding me.
Jesus was starving.
(As I side note, I’ve read about fasting at some point and know that the body goes through all kinds of changes during these extended fasts. Bear with me, though, and allow some allowance of the italicized starving.)
He had been fasting for forty days in the wilderness.
I started thinking about times when I have been hungry for food.
Well, let’s face it. As some of you know, I am nearly always hungry.
And when I get really hungry, weird things start happening.
For example, one time spaghetti ended up in my back jeans pocket. Seriously. Okay, maybe that would be best to save for another day.
The other night, though, something happened that doesn’t make for a good story. I was hungry and cranky and a friend made some rather innocuous comment. I curtly and sarcastically replied, “No f-ing kidding.”
So I’m at church this morning reading this scripture passage and am just really amazed. Jesus doesn’t start acting all weird when he his hungry. He doesn’t even start dropping high-powered f-bombs.
Instead, he withstands the enticement of that wily tempter.
I don’t know about you, but I get pretty hungry. And I’m not just talking about food.
Unfortunately, these are the times when that wily tempter is right there ready to step in and reek some havoc.
Thursday, February 18, 2010
I left for Bremen right after class so I ended up driving up the lane to my parent's house just as the digital display reached midnight. As I walked up to the house, I noticed that the lights in the living room were still glowing bright. Upon opening the front door, I could even hear the TV. This was a bit surprising. The parents usually hit the hay in pretty good time - kind of like me (as Jenn pointed out last night). Anyway, Dad was still sitting in his chair awake. I asked him what he was doing and he said, "Well, I just wanted to make sure you got in okay."
Of course, this shouldn't have been surprising.
But, in a way, it was pretty awesome.
I mean, here I am getting very close to 30 and Dad waited up to make sure that I got in okay.
This meant a lot.
I kind of think this is a lot like God.
He waits up for us, too.
Wednesday, February 17, 2010
Monday, February 15, 2010
He poses the question, "But isn't your work spiritual?"
Time is short this morning, but the the quick answer is, "No."
I'm not sure what happened (or didn't happen) over the last few years, but the spiritual nature of work has, for the most part, vanished.
That is what makes work particularly trying right now.
Deep within there is a yearning for something more. As Seth writes, "an art form, a calling, something worth doing."
I know that this sense of calling is possible with work.
Monday, February 8, 2010
As I was reading my managerial accounting textbook (dorky, I know), I came across the phrase milking the cow. I had not heard this phrase used in this context. I mean milking the cow is the milking a cow... for milk. Right? In the context of managerial accounting, though, milking the cow has to do with managers focusing on short-run budgetary performance instead of long-run viability.
What does this look like?
This looks like trimming expenses where they can't be trimmed - particularly in repair and maintenance.
Sure, it makes good business sense to look for alternative suppliers or re-engineer a machine or process to reduce repair and maintenance.
But moving parts wear. Solutions need to be replaced. Wearable parts, um, they wear.
Unchecked milking of the cow can lead to disaster.
Why? You can only cut so far. Then, all of the sudden machines don't run when you need them to run. Then, you miss orders or your cost to produce goes up. Then, well, you get the picture.
It takes constant vigilance to avoid an untimely demise.
Sunday, February 7, 2010
These pictures capture so much of what I envision for the working environment.
In the bottom picture, Chad is completely involved in Eric's turn. He is not some bystander. He is hunkered down with Eric - supporting him.
In the top picture, Eric is either excited or dismayed. I'm not really sure. But, he is clearly totally into the game. He is passionate. I sense his joy of playing - of being in the game.
These are the values that I would like to see in our plant.