Thursday, June 2, 2011

"We are Here to make another World" - Edward Deming - Ascension Day

"We are here to make another World" - Edward Deming - Ascension Day
When Edward Deming said this, he was meaning and encouraging those who were students and devotees of his statistical theories on a new form of management and leadership that was needed in a then stagnant business world.  He was calling for a transformation of how things were done and even deeper, how people thought.  He was trying to change the world with a revolutionary new paradigm of including input from the common worker, leaning a process that had become fat with waste, variation, loss of revenue, and poor practices that demeaned the worker, robbed them of pride and joy, punished them and drove things by fear and threats. 

He saw a new and different way that encouraged the worker to become involved, invested, and a participant to turn things around, improve the context, raise personal and corporate morale, and to solve problems that had ensnared the old system and means of thinking when it came to motivating people, and making wise decisions that would impact the workplace for the better,  He wanted to raise the success of business in a long term plan of empowering people and reducing waste and loss in systemic processes. He called for a Metanoi -a turn-around-transformation from detrimental old ways, to a new way of thinking and action.

Today being Ascension Day in the Church, it is a feast day that slides by without much fanfare unlike Easter or Christmas, and even to some extent, Pentecost.  It comes on a Thursday, a business day and not on a Sunday.  It also takes place at a side place.  I've been to the site of this event when Jesus rose from this life and returned to the Father's place in Heaven for good until His expected return at the end of time. (Which didn't happen in May as predicted or nor will happen in October as revised!)  You wouldn't know you were at the site of the Ascension if a tour guide didn't have the bus stop by a non-descript wall in a neighborhood.  You go though a common gate to a bare earthen yard with a small chapel in the middle.  No windows, or doors, and completely open to the weather and all.  A simple altar with no chairs, nor paved floor - only a stone in the middle of the dirt floor where you are told if you look closely, you'll see Jesus' footprints from his "launch to heaven".  It is extremely understated and almost invisible to anyone looking for commemorative shrines of Jesus.  It think it was meant to be that way!

We hear of the Apostles being stuck in time gawking into heaven with mouths agape, trying to comprehend what they had just witnessed.  Perhaps the Church would have remained stuck there if it wasn't for the "men in white robes" who asked them, "Men of Israel, what are you looking at and waiting for?  Did He not say that He would be coming back as you just saw Him leave?  Why and what are you waiting around here for?!"  (The upward stare with mouth agape, how they were stuck in time, is exactly how turkeys die of drowning in rainstorms!)

Jesus left so we could grow and become engaged in changing old ways of the world and spread, teach, mentor, and proclaim a New Good News - the Gospel.  Not only as a "once-upon-a-time-story" but as a manifestation of God's story being lived out in Our story and that Our Story is now God's Story being lived out in our day and time.  It was only a short wait for the Holy Spirit to come and complete the metanoia/transfromation (words Edward Deming regularly used in his presentations and writings) that would change the way the world then and now would think, believe, and function.  We are Here to Make Another World!  Not only with our new attitude and understanding of doing business, but as we see ourselves in an entirely new light, the Light of Christ, a Manifested Presence of the Holy Spirit living and changing the world by every act, word, deed or thought we bring into being every day of our life. 

Jesus is no longer here!  As a coach and wise mentor, He has empowered us to become engaged and responsible for our own choices and actions.  Like the parent who eventually has to let go of the child trying to learn how to ride a two wheel bike, the risk is needed for the child to learn how to balance, start, brake and turn without falling.  Some spills are in store to learn the skill, but the pay off is well worth the temporary trials.  So it is when it comes to God entrusting this world into temporary care of all of us.  It's a risk, but one God was willing to take.  We are accountable to how we live and manage each day!  So, Make Good Choices, ones hopefully inspired by the Holy Spirit!

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