‘Twas the Eve of Inauguration Day …


Please – someone – anyone – everyone …
Judge me for what I will be tomorrow!
I need you to judge me for what I was,
For what I am, and for what I may be tomorrow.

I remember years ago working up the rungs of my career ladder. One rung at a time. One job at a time. One company at a time. I worked and worked.  I schmoosed and schmoosed. I made mistakes. I had the ladder kicked from under me. I put it back again.

I told work I wanted to be the best I could for them. I told my wife I was only doing all of this for us and our family.

I lied.

I worked late nights and early mornings.  I kissed sleeping children goodbye.  I kissed sleeping children goodnight when I got home. I was a chameleon.  With a different colour for every situation. For every person.  It was fun. It was a buzz. It was exciting. It was what you have to do to get on. ‘Cos there ain’t no-one gonna do it for ya!

So judge what I will be tomorrow – who I will be tomorrow – how I will be tomorrow … Please – I need you to do that for me.

I remember topping the mountain! The pinnacle of promotion!  I had arrived!  I was the boss!  My own desk.  My own fancy leather chair.  My own floor-space.  My own title.  I was it.  A very little it in a very big corporate.  But I was a big it in my little bit of it.  All that hard work had finally paid off.  I was going to cruise this boss stuff and go higher still!

So judge what I will do tomorrow – criticise the decisions I may make in the morning.

And my first day as the big cheese was the must gut-wrenching, internally traumatising, complete and utter deception I have ever been a part of.

I had not reached the top – I had arrived at a massive plateau.  One that stretched far beyond my sight.  One that was completely flat.  One that was covered in fog.  Thick fog.  Sound deadening fog.  Senses depriving dampness.  A sterile and lifeless and isolating nothingness.

I spent the whole day not knowing what to do.  I had deceived well.  And I walked from here to there.  And then there to here.  I stopped and consulted.  Then walked over there and consulted again.  I sat at my desk.  In my big cheese chair.  In the middle of my big cheese floor-space.  And felt totally vulnerable.

I felt watched.  I felt judged.  I felt I had to look busy – but had no idea how.  I felt surplus to requirements. I felt a fraud.  And when it was finally time to go home – I went – FAST!  That was the best part of the whole excruciating big cheese first day!  I could finally escape and be me again. 

I learned something that day. Something that has stayed with me ever since.  I learned not to judge someone today for what I think they will be or do or say tomorrow.

Happy Inauguration Day.

From England

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5 thoughts on “‘Twas the Eve of Inauguration Day …

  1. Hi Paul!

    This made me think of James

    “Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.” As it is, you boast in your arrogant schemes. All such boasting is evil. If anyone, then, knows the good they ought to do and doesn’t do it, it is sin for them.”

    • Hiya Wally – thank you! I have been surprised at how “knowing” the criticism has been (and still is). As Don Merritt illustrated so well in one of his posts – there is nothing new under the sun – not even this. And yet we allow ourselves to be caught up in the groundswell of emotion. And only end up carving a very deep line in the sand – on both “sides”. At what expense to ourselves and our relationship with our God and each other?

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