A Mercy Surprise


Today was set aside for research.   Yesterday I focused on beating back the invasive trivia so I could really get my head into details and the interpretation of details today.

Next weekend I will be speaking about Kingdom businesses in Canada, and I want to illustrate the seminar with stories of Canadian companies.  I pulled a list from the web first thing this morning and then hunkered down for the process of grinding through an endless list of web pages, looking for the clues that would let me see behind the PR veneer.

Tim Hortons.  Some surprises.  I had wondered why there was some low grade dissonance in the expression of the company.  Founder died early and his partner has heavily colored the original DNA with is own (dissimilar) style.  Mystery solved.

Air Canada vs. WestJet.  Slam dunk.  WestJet works really hard to remind everyone of all the differences between the two.   I get one bit of easy money each day.

Bombadier.  Fun story.  The sparkle is in the hand off from the founder to the second generation CEO.  Great redemptive gifts synergy there which explains the dramatic redirection of the company.

Canadian National Railways.  Hopeless.  Government owned.  Formed from an amalgamation of several other railroads.  Leadership and policies shift with the political tides.  This one would take a long time to sort out via the web.  Wish I could ride it for a day.  That would solve the mystery.  Skip it.  On to the next one.

Cirque du Soleil.  Standard diagnostic question to self:  “What makes this different from other circuses?”

Immediate answer:  “Everything.”

“Thanks a lot.  That was no help. Would the smart aleck inside please take the rest of the day off?

“OK.  Specifics.  P. T. Barnum vs. Cirque du Soleil.  What is the core difference?  Umm, dee dum. . .

Ah, THERE it is.  In a Barnum and Bailey circus, they provided a finished product for you to see.  They worked hard to cause you to see what they wanted you to see, whether it was the barker trying to get you into an exhibit, or the clown on the ground in the ring.  What they showed you was the final product.  They offered a gratifying spectacle for your eyes.

“Cirque du Soleil, by contrast, tries to stir your imagination so that what they show you will serve as a jumping off point for you to think about things you have never thought about before.  They don’t want to be the ending point.  What they show you is supposed to be the beginning point of a thought process that never reaches closure.”

Wow!  That was impressive.  And a very new insight.

Clearly gift of Mercy.

That is Rob Bell, former pastor of Mars Hill.  He drove the theologians batty with his propensity to challenge people to think through profoundly significant concepts in an open ended way, without his telling them what the right answer was supposed to be at the end of their cogitations.  Quite heretical in the world of theological conclusions that are precise and emphatically delivered.

Ah yes.  C. S. Lewis.  Another one who had something to say that made a huge impact on people, but who also raised endless questions he did not bother to answer.  He made people think about things they would not normally think about.

I decided to try it on Megan to see if she would sign off on it.  I did.  Her first (excited) response:  “That is ‘Beyond the Horizon.'”  But of course.  Intuitively she knew that when she named her company, it had to be a jumping off point, not a conclusion.

Then she went all glassy eyed on me as the concept made her brain feel like a pinball machine going for a new world record.  Guess I am on the right track.  (Sandy, when you proof the next set of CDs for us, be extra careful.  Her audio editing the rest of today will be from her autopilot program, not from her core design.  She is pretty much gone for a while.)

So, we have new language for the Mercy tribe and for those of us trying to successfully walk with them.  That is why closure is so anathema to them.  If you just think about it another day (or week . . . or month . . .) there might be even more possibilities to savor and imagine.

OK.  Enough already with savoring and imagining.  Some of us (Prophets) have research to do and a deadline to meet.

What is the social DNA of the Maple Leafs?  Coming right up, Sir!

Copyright June 2012 by Arthur Burk

From the Quarterdeck

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11 Responses to A Mercy Surprise

  1. David Anandie says:

    Arthur,
    On my visit to Canada last August Canada Dry -the drink featured prominently on my my mind. For some time it and still does leave me with the thought that it is a prophetic picture of the nation i.e. spiritually dry.

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  2. Ivan A says:

    Haha, so right to the point, Arthur!

    Our mercy son always makes me think about things I would not have had time to think otherwise.
    My son: “Daddy, how big is the galactic core?”
    Me: “Uhmmm…”
    My son: “Is black hole bigger?”
    Me: “Well, there are…”
    My son: “Where is the end? How big is God? Can we get out of the universe?”
    Me: “… I don’t know 😦 “

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  3. Greg says:

    How about looking into Jim Pattison of The Jim Pattison Group of Companies. There should be some very interesting material for you to dig into.
    Thanks!

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  4. Kerrie says:

    So does that make Mercy’s day dreamers?
    Thanks for that helpful insight into my hubby.
    I need closure, is that RP, he never does :).
    What you said helps give freedom to this RP too.

    I realized yesterday that I’m always trying to label, articulate…but just really can enjoy Him…

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  5. Susan Sander says:

    YES!! I have been working in clay for a couple of years now and I am currently in a ceramic mentorship programme. So a lot of digging into why you do what you do. And the one thing about myself that baffled me was that I just can not make a pot for the pot’s sake. My whole being wants each pot to begin a story in the life of the person who’s home it end up in. To be a spark into something else which I couldn’t define. I was concidering the possibility that I just wanted my work to be much more than what you can do with the limitations of a piece of clay and that I should start to be more practical and make pots to be useful only so that I can work faster and more productive. But then I read this post, and my mind is going crazy into one thousand directions simultaniously! Wow!! I think we’ve got something here…..

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  6. Since the intitial conversation with Arthur at work today I have been joyously chewing on this new idea … or new language, perhaps. It made so much sense when I thought about the fact that I am continually looking for things we don’t already see. It also made sense as to why Mercys are often the right-brained creative types … and maybe, just possibly the need to circle around everything is not just for processing purposes, but also a strategy to see if anything new will spark your imagination. Another thing that came to me when I was thinking of CS Lewis and Cirque du Soleil is that while they are getting you on a trail of new thoughts and imagination, it is in the context of excellence and complexity. There is a “completeness” in a sense to the presentation of the new world that will somehow unlock something in you. It is not simplistic, it is not a rough sketch on a napkin, it is a richly textured work of art. There is some kind of emotion or thought or imagination (or layers of them!) that are to be invoked, and it will be done with beauty. And now, like a true Plumbliner, I am chewing on the “why” and “how to”!

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    • Kerrie says:

      Thanks Megan, for your added input. The talk on excellence was a clue into my dad & hubby. My hubby will re do things over and over again…where ease I am a do it get it done person.
      My hubby loves Cirque. The completeness you spoke of: Cirque plays to all your senses. The excellence oh having an opera singer and live band in the box and the singer in costume…

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  7. ruthiespage says:

    As a Mercy, I loved this!!! Thank you, once again for validating our (my) thought process, and even the far away look of the mercy in thought or should I say flight! Thank you! much to contemplate here. In our work here in the Delta we do NOT have answers. But the two words that the Lord has spoken to us are ‘We are NOT powerless!’ and ‘Imagine!” For this Mercy, it is fuel for the fire! How gracious of the Lord to say to a mercy: Imagine! The portion about the Cirque du Soleil really landed in my spirit! Once again, Thank you!

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  8. Mike Corbin says:

    Had a good chuckle as I don’t expect to ready about the ‘Leafs’ and Tim Hortons at your noble subjects blog.

    Bombardier is a destination of many government subsidies and handouts over its history.

    The modern CNR story begins with Paul Tellier who is also now connected to Bombardier.

    Your brief description of Tims is bang on and colours the whole experiance from a customer perspective, if one chooses to see it that way. Its interesting to visit Tims after listening to your work on Time, Mesmerizing Spirit and the Victim Spirit, just to name a few.

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    • Jayne Yuill says:

      Hello Mike and others — Tim Horton’s is an enigma… I joke to myself that they put nicotine in the soil where they grow their beans, because a Tim’s diehard will step out to gab a TH coffee (even more so that a Starbucks devotee), even when there is good coffee at hand, at home, at a friend’s house, at work, etc. I find this very mysterious. I’ll re-visit the Mesmerizing Spirit and Victim Spirit articles with fresh(ly-brewed) eyes. I’m curious, though, what aspect of Time you refer to – I’ve studied the teachings – I’m curious as how you see that relating to TimHortons .

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