The diva is seated in row 34, window seat. She is late boarding because her bling caused so much trouble at the metal detector. With her left hand she is dragging a big suitcase that keeps getting stuck in the aisle. She has a supersized purse on her left shoulder which whacks a half a dozen hapless people along the way. She is holding a venti, caramel macchiato, skim, extra shot, extra whip, 120 degrees drink in her right hand, while talking on her cell phone.
When she arrives at her seat, the other two people are already there. They get out of their seats and stand in the aisle. She slings her purse into the middle seat, keeps talking — loudly — and finds out she has to go clear to the back to find room for her suitcase. Her two seatmates endure a forced march to the rear until she finds a space for the elegant monstrosity. She obviously can’t lift it with one hand so a customer who wants to get the bird off the ground some time this week picks it up and ungraciously shoves it into the overhead bin, sideways, much to the irritation of the other late comers.
She works her way back against traffic to her seat, rummages through her big bag to get her media player, then fusses around for a while looking for a place to heave that bag overhead — with one hand — and finally wedges herself into the window seat, gathers up her belongings from the middle seat, all the while nursing the venti, caramel macchiato, skim, extra shot, extra whip, while everyone around her is well over 120 degrees by now.
This is not what we mean by flow.
By contrast, the road warrior in business class had his boarding pass ready on his cell phone and moved smoothly through the jet bridge. He dropped his slim computer case in the aisle seat and in a single motion slid the 22″ soft rollaboard into the overhead bin, and slid into his seat.
In seconds, his book was extracted from the outside pocket of his computer bag which was easily placed under the seat in front of him. He was lost in the story within 60 seconds of walking in the door of the airplane.
This is flow.
Now extend the single incident to a lifestyle. For some people, life is one complicated series of bumps, delays and offenses. Getting a new cell phone chosen, purchased, loaded with your apps and data, charged, voice mail activated, custom wall paper installed, emails configured and ring tone selected takes about two weeks. And they are techie.
For other people, the same process takes a couple of hours.
Now zoom out again and consider an entire culture. The World Bank measures flow in the business community each year. They have a list of qualities that measure where it is easy to start and run a business — and where it is not.
In terms of ease of starting a business, New Zealand takes first place. In the much more challenging category of ease of doing business, they are second among all the economies of the world! Honors to the Kiwis. Apparently their mastery of flow transcends the game of rugby!
As would be expected, 188th in ease of doing business is Lybia, a nation in protracted conflict that was not particularly efficient even before the devastation of war. BUT, it isn’t just a war issue.
The BRICS coalition that is trying to elbow its way into affecting the global economic scene has some pretty awful numbers when it comes to flow. Brazil is at 116th place in terms of ease of doing business. Russia is 51. India is 130. China is 84. And South Africa, a recent addition to BRICS, is 73.
Flow on the first through fourth days of creation was more or less involuntary. On the fifth day, God created the fish and the birds and intentional flow entered the world with grace and elegance. It was also quite a functional issue when it comes to feral “economies.” Poor flow and you may get eaten. Good flow and you eat well.
Thus the Giver’s relationship to flow is rather foundational. While flow as one of the seven heads of Leviathan is anchored in the Ruler gift, it is also a very significant part of the Giver’s ability to thrive.
What causes bad flow? There are three reasons. One is the disruption of the culture. It is no surprise that Libya, Afghanistan, Central African Republic and Venezuela are awful places to do business right now.
When an individual’s world is shattered by divorce, bankruptcy, illness or other crippling circumstances, it is to be expected that flow becomes chaos for a season.
A second reason is a culture committed to deliberately not fixing the known issues. India is certainly in that category. The world over, their deliberate corruption from the top of the governmental sector down to the local businesses is well known, as is the defiant resistance of those in power to permit restructuring of the culture’s values. Zimbabwe, Haiti, Iraq and Myanmar are globally known for the “Haves” exploiting the “Have Nots” with an iron fist.
The diva is in this category. She lacks character and discipline on many counts. She could learn much and change much, but seems quite content to leave a trail of offense wherever she goes. By contrast, the businessman has worked hard to develop a streamlined lifestyle and to stay well out ahead of each situation. He has character and was highly disciplined.
The third reason is God’s judgment. When a person or a nation systematically violates the Principle of Freedom, the result is a loss of flow. So, to some degree, the first category is actually an extension of the third. When the violations of freedom are egregious and sustained, the consequences of the principles violation devour the nation.
And when there are people in the family line who have been intense predators, the curses of those who have been wounded can significantly devour the flow of highly disciplined Christians in subsequent generations.
We cannot pray virtue into another person. If there are Givers in our midst who are predatory in this generation, we can only ask for mercy for them — and conviction.
We cannot pray character into another person. If there are Givers in our midst who simply choose not to grow up, we can’t do that for them, although we can ask God to give them a wake up call.
But for all the Givers who God has entrusted to us, we can and will step into a priestly role regarding their generational heritage, asking God to free them from the flow-crushing choices of their forefathers. In this way, we, the Sapphire tribe, can wash the feet of the Givers whom God has entrusted to us for this season.
Copyright November 2015 by Arthur Burk
From the Hub