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What is Efficient renewal?

by | Jan 24, 2021 | renew

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My father was an Industrial Engineer, which he would remind you meant he had to master the hardest parts of ALL of the engineering disciplines.  Schooled in drafting and lettering, he was rarely without a pencil and graph paper.  That field was often called something else – Efficiency Engineering.  They would focus on “time and motion” studies. An example is the UPS drivers – ever wonder why they don’t have their door closed?  It saves them 2 seconds per stop… and over the day that adds up.  They even instruct and test the drivers on how to keep the keys on the correct finger of their hand to speed up even starting the truck… 

Watching something Efficiently engineered is a joy particularly to a scientific mind.  You see how things are thought through, designed to work well, and even potentially to figure out how to repair them when something invariably wears out.  And there are operating principles that guide the design – how fast something runs, a limit on hours running at that speed, scheduled maintenance periods.  As you drive across Texas, for example, you can go 90 for nearly 12 hours… but, can your engine run that long at redline?  Bearings heat up, expand, oil boils, and generally that leads to less than optimal results 😉 

Dad being an engineer raised out where stations were typically hours apart, always prepared for journeys with extra parts – fan belts, distributor caps, and particularly a water bag.  In the era he grew up in, engines would run hot, boil over the radiator coolant, and there you would be at the side of the road with literally 60 miles in any direction before you would see another … anything.  His preparation came from the Efficiency approach to everything – you thought about what you would do WHEN not IF something were to happen… 

… which explained his Sunday School material.  Being involved with Computers, he was very familiar with what were called “flow charts” – diagrams that showed decisions, questions to consider, and paths that resulted.  If you believe this, and then this, and then this… you, therefore, believe this.  It laid out a very logical approach to our own ‘design” and how the “owners manual’ showed us how to operate and renew it Efficiently. You can probably see where this is going by now, as our church community had a lot of back-slapping and fellowship, but not particularly deep thought.  And us being from out of town didn’t help… 

Asleep at the Wheel has now been together for more than 50 years, crisscrossing the world with their renewing, uptempo, fun tribute to the Swing music that was unique in Texas.  Like Bob Wills, much of it was in a Bus, loaded up with equipment, musicians, and probably some spare parts 😉  He has recently released yet another album of new material, New Routes, featuring a fiddle player who wasn’t even born for the first 20 years the band was together.  It also features a collaboration with the Avett Brothers and others who are now honored to be playing with Ray… as he wanted to with Bob. 

I am constantly challenged how I can be a person of faith and a scientist/engineer.  And not surprisingly I can give you an answer, and/or Efficiently turn you into a pretzel trying to figure out what you actually believe.  I was trained that way from birth really.  Our house was full of these little THINK signs that were pervasive at IBM – I thought it was our family motto… which, upon reflection, it was 😉  The LAST thing you wanted to hear was, typically not a high volume, but with a very specific tone, “Mark… THINK!!!”.  

The New Year is full of opportunities to be Efficient with your time, your email, your meetings, your relationships…. We each have lots of things to focus on improving… and I suspect one thing that we need to consider first is… do we have the capacity?  After running through last year at mostly redline, I know I am exhausted, and need a little time to renew.  How about you?  As my wife reminds me often, even God took one day in 7 off.  I am going to take my foot off the gas for a bit… and actually spend some time back in my home State.  And as I am heading out, I leave you with this homage to what could be, particularly if you are thinking about a different more Efficient path to renewing the real you., and your own faith stance – an offer I would be happy to talk with you about any time… If I Could. 

If I could make my living going fishing
Then I would make my living
With a line and pole
Put food on the table
Pay the money to the landlord
Buy some working clothes
Cause I ain’t making money going fishing
Like I’m paid at the factory

If I could pay all these bills with my guitar
Then I would pay these bills
With some rock and roll
Put food on the table
Pay the money to the landlord
Buy some working clothes
Cause I ain’t making money playing guitar
Like I’m paid at the factory

If I could
Then I would
Make money doing something that I love
I’d thank my lucky stars above

If I could just get by loving you dear
Then I would just get by making love to you
Put food on the table
Pay the money to the landlord
Buy some working clothes
Cause I ain’t making money making love
Like I’m paid at the factory

If I could
Then I would
Make money doing something that I love
I’d thank my lucky stars above

If I could spend my time making birdies
Then I would spend my time playing golf all day
Put food on the table
Pay the money to the landlord
Buy some working clothes
Cause I ain’t making money going golfing
Like I’m paid at the factory

If I could make my living playing fiddle
Then I would make my living
Fiddling around all the day
Put food on the table
Pay the money to the landlord
Buy some working clothes
Cause I ain’t making money playing fiddle
Like I’m paid at the factory

Put food on the table
Pay the money to the landlord
Buy some working clothes
Cause I ain’t making money doing nothing
Like I’m paid at the factory

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