Five Minutes (1 Corinthians 14:40 )

It was a frustrating turn of events. For several months, I had been successfully receiving cases from one of my dermatology clients when the deliveries slowed then abruptly stopped. The slowdown was almost imperceptible, one or two fewer cases per week until after about a month, no cases. It was not until I received an angry text from the dermatologist questioning why I was not the consulting dermatopathologist that I realized there was a breakdown in the system.

I contacted the laboratory that oversaw the delivery of the cases to my office. After a day of investigation, the weak and unsatisfying explanation was revealed. The client had several account numbers and for unknown reasons, these account numbers were never merged into a single account number. Someone in the laboratory was using one of the older account numbers and routing the cases to another dermatopathologist hundreds of miles away.

“And how many hours were spent investigating this?” I exasperatingly asked the laboratory manager.

He sighed. “At least four hours!”

I shook my head and lamented, “Look how paralyzing this was! If we took five minutes to address this issue at the beginning it would not have ballooned into four hours of damage control!”

In business and life, I am continually astounded how the failure to do a simple preventive action can result in a catastrophic breakdown in the workflow. Procedures and protocols are put into place to prevent and avoid a calamity or crisis. This is true whether one is responding to supply chain issues grappling with a worldwide pandemic or mundane issues like ensuring there are sufficient napkins for customers in a restaurant.

Does the Bible give us any insight into the importance of following proper protocols and organization? It is not surprising that God is painstakingly detailed when providing instructions for His people. He does not organize in broad strokes but gives extremely precise and granular instructions that He expects His followers to obey. This is clearly evident in the order and precision with the instructions that He gave to the Israelites to build the Tabernacle and the Ark of the Covenant and the details of worship (Exodus 25-27). While some of these descriptions may seem foreign to our modern sensibilities, one needs to read and understand this through the lens of Almighty God. A relationship with God is not a random or chaotic process in which anyone can create their own protocols and do whatever seems right or expedient. Every action and step is important and dependent upon the previous; if a shortcut is taken or a detail skipped, the result would be catastrophic. 

But all things should be done decently and in order.

1 Corinthians 14:40 (ESV)

God is the Author of precision. He gave precise instructions to our ancestors how to worship Him. Thousands of years later, He gave precise instructions on how to reconcile the relationship between Himself and mankind that sin had ruptured.

…if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.

Romans 10:9 (ESV)

This is the first step to enter into a relationship with God. If it is not done, the results will be tragic and one’s hope for salvation and eternal life will be destroyed.

Love and trust the Lord; seek His will in your life.

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