While addressing an MBA class at Concordia University in Montreal some years ago, I was asked a typical MBA question: “what are your growth plans?”
My response was atypical, it was true to form, but very un-MBA: “I have none.”
I must have looked like a silly and irresponsible entrepreneur. Thankfully, I care quite less about looking or being silly. I just want to be true.
I did not consider lying to them so I just spoke the truth. I had no growth plans.
My company was in a “strait betwixt two”. In between being conformists, being a regular cleaner and a cleaning company on one hand and being true Cleaners, true agents of individual and societal transformation, redefining cleaning, redefining what it means to be a cleaner and what it means to be a cleaning company on the other hand. How could I have growth plans when I did not know where I was headed? Wouldn’t “growth plans” have been presumptuous and foolish?
I was not only in a “strait betwixt two”, I was leaning towards what I loved, exploring the uncharted. And when you are in uncharted territory, wisdom demands acknowledging ignorance. In uncharted territory, the primary plan is to listen to your guide.
Now I am glad I did not succumb to the pressure to have a plan when I did not know what to grow. The plan is coming together as I look back. I am blazing a new trail and I do not know what is ahead. I am grateful that my primary plan was and remains, to be tuned in to The Spirit.
It is “dangerous” of course to rely on The Spirit for the same reason cloud computing is risky. What if you lose connectivity? The cloud is reliable but connectivity is liable to outages and downtime and I have suffered them. When you lose connectivity, you are zero, you can do nothing. At least when you do not depend on the “cloud” or you have local processing, you can still “look” okay.
But the beauty of “cloud computing” is 24/7 access to everything the cloud has – all of God – and when downloaded, it will be original. It is not from you, as Joseph said to Pharaoh, “the answer is not in me.” It is worth waiting and watching for even if it takes you 80 years to get there. 1 hour of authentic cloud connectivity will do more than a thousand years of no connectivity.
So, “I will stand upon my watch and set me upon the tower, and will watch to see what he will say unto me” as the Prophet Habakkuk said, even if it takes me a lifetime. I will have no plan until I see and hear from my Shepherd and then my only plan will be to follow.
If this territory is uncharted, how foolish it is to pretend like I know. If I have a Shepherd who knows the territory, how dishonoring it is to act like I am on my own.
In uncharted territory, relying on your knowledge is recipe for disaster. Jesus, who called Himself the good Shepherd, when he was here said, “I can of my own self do nothing…” Ha! He did not rely on his local processor and see what he did in 3 years. Everything He did was “cloud-based”, God-directed, God-inspired.
It is the beginning of 2016 and I need my Guide more than ever before because in many respects I am in uncharted territory. This song, You are the Shepherd speaks so much to me. I heard it first from The African Children’s Choir. Theirs is better sounding. Mine is raw and has no accompanying music…
The part about “when I walk on rough ground…” moves me to tears often. I have walked on many rough grounds many times, and I have needed my Shepherd to guide me through. Happy listening.
If you are in uncharted territory and you need reliance on The Shepherd, may you learn to follow. If you are in familiar territory and are able to do without a Shepherd, may you get into the uncharted.