Posts Tagged ‘Occupational Safety and Health Administration’



January 24, 2013

“O Lord, make me know my end and what is the measure of my days; let me know how fleeting I am!” Psalm 39:14

Belime in his Nerd characterI recently was at a gathering of my profession. There is a reason that they don’t make sexy engineer calendars. It would take too long finding 12 candidates and no one would believe it anyways.  Generally, our specific slice of society is not a physically robust lot.

However, that doesn’t mean we don’t try.

Throw a bunch of competing consulting engineers in a room and the air becomes limited due its consumption in puffed up chests.  We are like a bunch of scrawny bantam roosters strut’n their stuff.  It is rather humorous the gravitas that is assumed.  I wonder how often God looks at such events and our self-proclaimed importance and goes “not so much.”

The recent Presidential Inauguration displayed a lot of grandeur and honor associated with the highest elected office in the United States.  There were a lot of  “very important” people in the specific places of honor.  The media documented every morsel of respect shown and every “roll of the eye.”  I wonder how often God looks at such events and these esteemed officials and goes “not so much.”

English: The inauguration of President Barack ...

English: The inauguration of President Barack Obama Français : Cérémonie d’investiture du président Barack Obama (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The reality is that Presidents come and go.  Legislators come and go. Consulting engineers come and go.  People come and go.  It is all so very fleeting.

Tremendous investments are made daily in maintaining appearances.  Energy is expended in anxiety over what others think about our fleeting little lives.

Is that the best investment of the time that we have?

We have all heard the older generation lament how quickly time moves by.  It truly is disturbing to hear their words coming out of my own mouth but it has happened.  All one has to do is to peruse through old pictures to know the truth behind their lamentations.  Our lives truly are fleeting.  Even if my time here is 110 years, it still is nothing from God’s perspective.  It is fleeting.

Fleeting doesn’t mean irrelevant. Fleeting means scarce. We are careful with scarce things. We measure them out with purpose.

Fleeting is having one day to live; What will you do with it?

Our time on earth is like one day from an eternity perspective. What are you going to do with it? Are you going to strut around in your own self-importance? Are you going to be worried about what other people think about you?

Or, are you going to make investments that will last for all eternity?

PRAYER: Lord, help me to have good priorities.  Father, I don’t want to waste my life of things that will be ashes.  Give me an eternal perspective in that which I choose to be involved, in the words I say, and in how I treat other people.  Lord, give me the humility of being dust in the wind.  Amen



January 23, 2013

“I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, just as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep.” John 10:14-15

Convenience store

Convenience store (Photo credit: wilhelmja)

There are three convenience stores along my route to work.  Their name fits them very well.  They are convenient.  However, I do not want to work at a convenience store.  Convenience stores get robbed.  Convenience store robberies account for approximately 7% of all robberies.  Job-related homicides in the retail trade account for approximately 48% of all workplace homicides.  The highest shares of those homicides are in convenience stores.  The problem is that convenience stores are convenient for robbers also.  That makes it a dangerous occupation for employees.

The US Department of LaborOccupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued a bulletin, “Recommendations for Workplace Violence Prevention Programs in Late-Night Retail Establishments”.  This bulletin gives a lot of recommendations on hazard prevention and control.  However, there is no recommendation for employees to be trained to lay down their lives.  The recommendations are actually the opposite.  Employees are to cooperate during a robbery such as turning over money or valuables without resistance.

There is an unspoken assumption in these recommendations.  The life of the employee is worth more than the cash in the register.  The life of a person is worth more than a case of beer and a couple of packets of jerky.  No one should sacrifice their life to protect a tank of gas and a couple cartons of cigarettes.

OSHA would have a significant problem with any company employee handbook policy that says:

You shall lay your life down for the store.

You shall lay your life down for the cab.

You shall lay your life down for the tools.

You shall lay your life down for the truck.

You shall lay your life down for the kiosk.

That sort of policy makes no sense.  Can you imagine a sheep rancher instructing his shepherds, “if anything bad goes down, thieves or wild animals, I want to you do everything you can, even give your own life if necessary.  I want you to bring all of those sheep back or don’t come back yourself”?


Sheep (Photo credit: James Good)

That sounds so unreasonable because they are sheep.  You do not sacrifice a human life for a sheep’s life.  We eat sheep.  We don’t give our lives for sheep.  Those of us who have grown up in the Church have heard this verse many times, “…and I lay down my life for the sheep.”   We may be prone to think that this is what a good shepherd does.

No, they don’t.

There is no shepherd willing to sacrifice his own life for sheep.  If you spent any time around sheep, you would understand that they are not worth that sort of sacrifice.

Jesus is No Regular Shepherd.

Likewise, we are regular sheep.  Another tendency is to think that we are so valuable that we warrant the sacrifice of the shepherd.  We don’t.  The distinction between the Son of God and us, sheep, is greater than the distinction between a human shepherd and real sheep.  Jesus’ sacrifice as the good shepherd for us rebellious sheep makes no sense .

This fact should astound us.

Jesus’ sacrifice is a treasure – particularly for us sheep.  However, there is so much more.  Jesus is fulfilling 500-year-old prophecies from Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and Isaiah.  Jesus’ sacrifice is in obedience to a covenant keeping God.  Jesus’ sacrifice is for those who are His – fellow heirs of God, children of the most high.  Jesus is the good shepherd that became like the sheep; laying his life down for those sheep because that was the only way to save them.

Jesus is the incredible shepherd of an incredible God.  Our Father showed us mercy and grace beyond imagination.  The words, “I lay down my life for the sheep,” should boggle our minds.  Jesus’ sacrifice raised us from mere sheep to heirs.  How can that be?  It is an act that cannot be  based on our worth.  It is an act that can only be based on the abounding grace and mercy of our glorious God.

May we live in a way that the joy and astonishment of our salvation never diminishes.  There is nothing in this world greater than our “good shepherd.”

PRAYER: Lord, thank you for saving me.  Thank you for being my good shepherd.  Forgive me for so often living in a way that takes your sacrifice for granted.  Forgive me for not being in awe of you.  Thank you!  You are truly wonderful and abounding in love and mercy.  Amen

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