God’s ways are prodigious

Some years ago, just after college, when I was still wet behind the ears and in my salad days, I did some work in Thika for one week with a hilarious, grizzled Asian management expert. He had been appointed by a certain firm to help in strengthening their management systems.

What struck me most about this man is his uncanny ability to discuss any topic presented to him with mastery and skill. He loved hanging around me and he would talk about Jack and Jill, Romeo and Juliet, Julius Caesar, Christopher Columbus, Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, Leo Tolstoy, Hellen Keller, Abraham Maslow, The Nazis and the practice of Eugenics, The partitioning of India and Pakistan and the role Muhammad Jinnah Ali and Jawaharlal Nehru played, the Ottoman Empire, the fall of Roman Empire, Genetic Fingerprinting, Recombinant DNA Technology, the The Invasion of Iraq in the early 90s and trans-boundary environmental impacts of the Gulf War. He would literally talk about anything under the sun with uncommon ease. Perhaps he was a polymath.

There is one thing he told me, that I still remember to date. “When I was of your age, I happened to do my practicum under a veteran Indian management expert who kept mentioning one rule in management that many people do not observe:

  1. Do.
  2. Do it.
  3. Do it Now…”

I do not know if there is such a rule in management but one thing I am sure of is its practicality and fabulous results.

A square peg in a round hole

If management gurus of today would have met Jesus, perhaps this is what they would have told Him.

‘If God sent you to go to the cross, why can’t you go now and finish the job now?”

“Jesus, you’d get a lot more done if you had more apostles than just the 12.”

“You really need to attend that council meeting in Capernaum if you want to make headway with the Pharisees!”

“Why are you still here in Galilee? Your ministry would be so much bigger if you’d move to Jerusalem. Such talent going to waste!”

Jesus would simply tell them that the timing wasn’t right because he was on the father’s timetable.

“You go to the festival. I am not going up to this festival, because my time has not yet fully come.” (John 7:8 NIV).

God has a timetable and our understanding, we must admit, is no more than ninepence in the shilling. We come to a pretty pass when we do it our way.

The royal road may be without hard knocks but it is possible that it can lead one down the garden path. Utter dependence on the One who sent us is a trick worth two of that.

We can be up hill and down dale but that could just be a wallaby track that leads us straight to a field where at best we get a nine days’ wonder or at worst reap the whirlwind.  That is how we become a yesterday’s news.

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways,
declares the Lord.
 As the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts.”

Isaiah 55:8-9 (NIV)

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