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Morning Sun
  • OKIE IN EXILE: Foundations, Bibles and Bureaucrats

  • The more I read, the more I listen, the more I experience, the more I become convinced that what happens to you early in life has a tremendous impact on the rest of it. Early life is not a prison; it is a foundation. You can attempt to level it up with great effort and great expense; you can add on rooms that add size to the original, but that original foundation affects everything else.

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  • The more I read, the more I listen, the more I experience, the more I become convinced that what happens to you early in life has a tremendous impact on the rest of it. Early life is not a prison; it is a foundation. You can attempt to level it up with great effort and great expense; you can add on rooms that add size to the original, but that original foundation affects everything else.
    In my home growing up, there was a great respect for the Bible. It influenced me in surprising ways.
    Respect for the Bible has influenced me at work.  You might be expecting me to say that it influences how I treat my fellow man or that I am affected by the protestant work ethic.  This may be true, but I never did understand that protestant work ethic thing.  Maybe I’ve just been around the wrong kind of protestants.
    It has affected the way I view working within the university system.
    In the very first part of the Bible, God is revealed as a planner.  He took the task of creating the heavens and the earth and divided it up into separate tasks and did them in a certain order.  He looked at what he’d done and assessed it. He said it was good.  (He was the last one who was ever able to get away with an assessment report that was that easy.)
    Then God made policies.  He gave Adam and Eve one rule and they broke it.  This has been par for policies ever since.
    Regardless of planning and policies, somethings things go awry. When this happened in the Days of Noah, God salvaged what he could, scrapped the rest, and started over.
    We recognize the power of words at the university and have an amazing system of communication, though occasionally, folks don’t understand the message. There is a biblical antecedent to this.  God spoke the universe into existence. In the story of the Fall, the Serpent muddles the communication of that first policy and Adam errs by going with his heart instead of doing his job.
    When the Tower of Babel was being constructed, everything came to a stop when God confused the languages and they could no longer communicate with each other.
    Communication is also referred to in the Book of Esther. The King sends out an edict translated into all of the languages of his realm that every man should be the head of his own house.  This was something that was already done in that patriarchy.  So a lot of effort with into something that wasn’t needed and would have no effect.  In short, it was exactly the way things are done now in every bureaucracy everywhere.
    Page 2 of 2 - The issue of leadership is also touched upon. There always has to be someone in charge.  God even put the Sun in charge of the Day and the Moon in charge of Night.  People laugh when I say that, but I say just read it for your self and compare it to the management styles you’ve seen.  
    The Sun is present during the day all day long.  Bright light shines on everything that is going on.  
    The Moon, by way of contrast, eases in until he is there all night at fullest strength.  Even then, the light of the Moon is only sufficient to see exactly what needs to be seen.  Then the Moon eases out.  One might interpret this as laziness on part of the Moon, but God separated the Light from the Darkness.  If we take Light to symbolize knowledge and Darkness, the lack thereof, then we could view the Moon as managing over matters where some things are best not known by many.  
    I would invite those who’ve dealt with personnel matters to meditate on this and let me know what you think.
    We can also think about how Adam was left in charge of Eden; how Joseph was in charge of Pharaoh’s house; how Noah was in charge of the construction of the Ark; how Nehemiah was in charge of the reconstruction of the Temple.
    Nehemiah ought to be a patron saint of bureaucrats--he may be for all I know--because he went through just about all of the steps you can go through to get the Temple rebuilt: He worked politics with the king; he had to organize the project; he had to deal with resistance among the locals; when he got it going well, he left it in someone else’s hands who made a mess of it, so he had so go back and fix it.  It is great reading and I heartily recommend it to you.
    While I say the Bible still affects me, I also go back to it and read it through whatever lenses I’ve picked up.  I am always finding something new.
    Bobby Winters, a native of Harden City, Oklahoma, is Assistant Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences and Professor of Mathematics at Pittsburg State University. He blogs at redneckmath.blogspot.com and okieinexile.blogspot.com. You may contact him at okieinexile@gmail.com.
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