Friday, September 4, 2009

Don't Waste Good Crisis

The speaker for our Spartanburg Kiwanis meeting on Thurdsday, Sept. 3rd, was Darrell Parker, dean of the business school at the University of South Carolina Upstate. He was there, of course, to talk about the great new business school building that is being built in Spartanburg. He did a good job of talking about what they are going to do educationally and business wise.

But, when question time came, the topic of discussion was the economy. Is it over yet? What can we expect from the fall quarter? If we don't produce anything in this country, do we have a future? There were some really good questions.

One thing that stuck with me was a line that Darrell Parker said while talking about the economy. He said something like: "You don't want to waste a good crisis." He said that this crisis in which we have seen about a 12% drop is a good time to take stock, re-evaluate ourselves, and make some solid plans to come back. He said that if business is smart in this they won't waste a good crisis.

That applies to life in so many ways. Even Christians know that life is filled with storms and crises. We know that the in the Chinese language the same symbol is used for crisis as opportunity.

Every crisis is an opportunity to pare back to what is necessary. It is a time to take stock of what is really important. It's a good time return to what is important. We ask questions like this in times of crisis. When everything is going well, when there are not real challenges to our lives, we rock along. But, when the waters come up to our necks, when things are out of control (and they most always are), we get serious about what we value and what we love.

This has been a time of cutting back, paring, and changing, I hope it's been a time when we've really dealt with what is important. After all, no one should waste a good crisis.

Dave Nichols

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A graduate of Newberry College and Duke University Divinity School.  I have served as a pastor in the United Methodist Church since 1975.

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