day 2517: Time Out

“In early autumn,when the Israelites had settled in their towns, all the people assembled in Jerusalem with a unified purpose.”

I was watching a close football game and with just minutes left the announcer said something to the effect that the coach of the winning team was one of the best strategists of the use of timeouts in the league.  I thought it an odd comment until the three timeouts left against the team with none, got the job done and the extra timeouts were what made the difference.  In business we tend to miss or misuse the power of the timeout.  We might have regularly scheduled townhalls or all-hands or staff meetings, but I don’t recall that often a CEO or business leader calling a “timeout” and gathering everyone together in an unscheduled (and impacting) way.  We do need timeouts, if for nothing else every now and then to catch our breath and regroup. It could be that the timeout could become a competitive advantage.

In the book of Ezra we see that the Israelites gathered together in their own timeout.  The NLT version above says they came with a unified purpose.  My earlier NLT version says, “all the people assembled together as one person”. As one person, unified, together in one place.  It is not often that we can experience that kind of moment in our lives.  We always have our own agenda as to do others and even though we assemble physically, we are not as “one person”.  Yet, we need this type of assembly. I was asked to speak last week at a gathering of believing entrepreneurs and business people.  It was special because it felt like we all were taking a timeout together and were of one purpose and one person.  I suggest we all try to find a group like this, where we can gather, for just a bit, out of our regular routines, and not only catch our own breath but maybe even catch the breath of the Holy Spirit.

Reference: Ezra 3:1 (New Living Translation)