“We hired you to get to the root of this problem and formulate a plan of action. Sixty days and thousands of dollars later your answer is to bring me in here! Surely you can do better than that.”
Jake took a deep breath, using the pause as an excuse to call his emotions into check. He looked across the dusty room at Dr. Fuller and took another breath. He was a good man and a fine project coordinator but things had simply gotten away from him. And his face showed it.
Before Jake could answer his boss huffed and proceeded where he had left off. “I just don’t get it Jake. We have the newest of everything these people need. We spared no expense in bringing in the best consultants and yet …”
Dr. Fuller threw up his hands and turned to look out the lone window in the little room. “All the studies say we’re doing great. Best show in town according to many. But something is wrong. If only I could put my finger on it. I was sure bringing you on board as fitness director would shape this place up.”
The man turned back toward Jake and then ran a finger along the dusty fitness equipment that had long since been confined to the least trafficked part of the massive building. He started to speak again, huffed and locked a cold stare on his subordinate.
Jake swallowed hard, reached deep and found courage to speak. “Dr. Fuller, you are one of the greatest project coordinators I have ever had the honor to work for. Your work ethic is beyond reproach and your zeal for the project is way above the bar."
Dr. Fuller managed a half-smile. “Thank you Jake. However, do I sense a 'but' that should have gone at the end of that last statement?”
Jake grinned. “Well, yes sir, as a matter of fact there was. May I ask you a question?” The Doctor’s silence was all the permission Jake needed to continue. “Sir, this project has drawn in more people than any other like it in this area. And … you have indeed given them a great example of what it means to be sharp mentally and physically. But it still remains that while things look healthy from the outside this organization is very suspect. Beneath the skin, so to speak.”
The doctor shook his head in resigned agreement. “No doubt. As much as I hate to admit it. This project would win every beauty contest in town but is still likely to end up on the coroner’s slab before it’s all over.”
Jake couldn’t believe the level of honesty his boss was revealing to him. He had never heard such anti-positive thinking from the man in the two months since he had arrived. The connection between them was evident and Jake didn’t intend to squander it.
“Sir … here’s the problem as I see. The people of this organization have indeed been given the best of everything. Top drawer all the way. They see you trim, fit and healthy. They all want to be like you. Why, these people are in fitness overload. They have fitness videos, books, tapes, seminars, and retreats. Just last week we sent two hundred of our employees to a fitness camp in the mountains; all expenses paid.“
Jake paused and let his eyes roam around the room passing by the old equipment that had been relegated to this dusty dark place. He allowed his eyes to rest on one solitary fitness tool lying on a low shelf.
The doctor followed his gaze. “I think I follow you son. But everyone involved in this project carries one of those with them at all times. I make sure I never stand before them without one in my hand. I ….”
Dr. Fuller grew silent. A tear formed in one eye. Something incredibly out of place for such a man. “I get it Jake. You’re saying I’ve done a great job teaching our people how to admire it but not so good in how to use it.“
“I couldn’t have said it better myself sir. No one ever got fit by looking at it. You know what they say; ‘Use it or lose it!“
“These were more noble-minded … for they received the word with great eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily, to see whether these things were so.” (Acts 17:11)
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