Even though they are technically called Emergency Evacuation Drills we still call them by the name we learned long ago; Fire Drills. We’ve all been through them at work at some point or another. Just when we are in the middle of an important phone call or meeting, the alarm sounds and out we go to stand on the lawn or concrete and wait for the evacuation manager and the floor wardens to clear the building and allow us back in when the “all clear” is sounded. It always seems like such a pain and a bit of a waste of time, even though in the real one, we all want to be prepared and out the door pronto. Because we all have been through the drills many times, we have come to call those assignments and requests that come to us in the last moment or the least acceptable time and don’t end up producing anything of substance, as another “fire drill”. There is nothing more precious that we have at work than our time so when someone wastes it with an unnecessary request it can take us all the way to angry and make us quite resentful. Which makes it all the more important that we not waste others time either. We have many choices each day when we ask for time from others. Before each request we should evaluate to ensure that what we are asking for will make a difference, yield a needed result, and most importantly, be the best use of the other person’s time. No one like a fire drill exercise. All that said, the real evacuation and fire drills are to keep all of us on our toes and for us to be alert at all times so that we can be ready and prepared if there is an emergency. This is not a bad lesson in life as well. There are certain dangers in life, both literally and figuratively that we must always be ready for and prepared to avoid. Mark tells us in his gospel that we must always, “Keep alert and pray. Otherwise temptation will overpower you.” Certainly at work we are faced daily with temptations that don’t show up in other parts of our lives and we compartmentalize them because they are on the job, away from home, and away from others who know us. The danger is there that we will begin to live two lives…one who we are at work and the other who we are away from the job. God tells us how to avoid this by staying alert in prayer. Mark’s words go on to say that we need to do this because, “For though the spirit is willing enough, the body is weak”. Today, you will face temptations on the job. These temptations are personal to you. Think of them as the needed fire drill, not the time wasting ones, to keep you on your toes and alert. Use these “fire drills” as productive outcomes to remove those lingering temptations before the real emergency hits. Not far from your office, down the hall or around the corner, is a red box with a handle on it. When the emergency comes that is where you go to sound the alarm. When you see the red box today, stop and say a prayer to God to keep you alert spiritually too and cognizant of the temptations that you face and to help you overcome each and everyone of them today. This is a “fire drill” that is actually productive and good to have every day.
Reference: Mark 14:38 (New Living Testament)