Look around you. There will be a certain something which will almost inevitably hallmark your view. Perhaps you can see a piece of office equipment. It will be made up of many parts, held together by screws, solder and sealants. Look out of your window. Something holds that window to the surrounding wall. Look at your own body – perhaps your hand. You will see bones held together and covered. In between these bones is fluid to make the joints move freely and connecting tissue to keep you from falling apart. Last, look at the wall. You will know, even if you can’t see, that blocks, bricks or stones are assembled and concrete or cement is holding it together. This is our 47th and last look into Nehemiah’s mind. It is a rich and diverse mind, complex and varied, filled with mysteries and energy. What could be the theme of his thinking, the defining characteristic or, as we call it at WORKTALK, his core process? What is it that defines the way he does everything? You can see he is wall builder, a city builder, governor and leader. Look back through the archive and you can discover his journey from cupbearer to governor and back again. I want to suggest to you that Nehemiah’s mind is found, not in the bricks, but the mortar, not in the bones, but the fluid, not in the parts, but the nails, the screws, the glue and the sealant. For Nehemiah is the great ‘bringer together’. His name means ‘comfort’ – literally ‘giving strength’. It is with the connecting material that the walls find their strength. It is in the keeping of parts in place that structures hold together. Now you can read the archive and see the theme. Early on in the story, you find Nehemiah connecting his generation with previous ones in joint responsibility for their current status. His mind connects all this to God in prayer. His next job is to connect his king to his mission. Assembling a taskforce, he arrives in Jerusalem, then sets about connecting 50 000 people with each other and to the rebuilding of a broken walls, gates and the city itself. Constantly putting people together with tasks, families together with their parts of the wall and leaders together with each other, Nehemiah’s mind is the cement which sets, even in the face of adverse conditions. By joining his brother with a local leader and nobles with the general public, Nehemiah is able to create a strong structure, capable of succeeding where others could not. Without doubt, Nehemiah’s mind was collaborative. He knew in his bones that none of us is as smart as all of us and exploited this insight at every turn. Deep in his own soul, Nehemiah also knew that the most vital connection had to be spiritual. He wanted to see individuals and the whole congregation connected to God. His strategies constantly displayed his grasp of an upward connectivity as well as horizontal collaboration. Watch his anger when that goes wrong. He is furious with himself and his brothers, when they miss their connection to financial fairness. He rages when faced with enemies who wanted to disconnect him from his mission or his people from his projects. He is beside himself with frustration when his people make unwise connections in marriage or disconnect themselves from their promises to God. Watch him combining prayer with work. Watch him integrate work and worship and you will see his mind revealed. Although there were things which he alone could do as governor, you almost never see him acting alone. Seeking his God, seeking a trusted friend, seeking his king, bringing in advisers and building teams, Nehemiah solved problems by bringing people together. This was his strength and this was the strength he created in what he did. Then there were his lists. To bring you WORKTALK and WORKTALKweekly there are: WORKTALKweekly Managers: Justine Sarah Marta Proofreader: Fleur Archivist: Julian IT Support: Eric Finance Officers: Maureen Jennifer O. Board Members: Simon Lois Joy Martin John Troy Ricky Prayer Leaders: Fleur Robin Jennifer F. Prayer Teams: Steve Glyn Candice Simon Clive Mel Kathleen Donors: Prayer Supporters: Social Media Manager: Marta Creative Assistant: Jennifer F. Oh, and Nehemiah style, please remember me, Geoff, the author! As you reflect on Nehemiah’s mind, I will suggest to you one final thought. Nehemiah’s journey was not easy. In order to do what he did, he faced life and death moments, real opposition and genuine setbacks. What you see going on externally was a reflection of his inner journey and the assembling of his inner architecture. Nehemiah was doing within himself what he was doing visibly in Jerusalem. His various parts needed to be connected for him to be strong. Cupbearer, pray-er, governor, leader, team builder, male, female, son, daughter, finance administrator were all parts of his mind that he needed to cement together. He also needed to make sure that his anger, frustration and failing characteristics were not ignored, but embraced. This was his job and Jerusalem was the outcome. He could not build externally without an inner reconstruction. If you can see this for yourself, you will have got the point of this series, your inner and other worlds will be speaking to each other and starting to sing in harmony a song of praise to your God. Work Well. This edition of WORKTALKweekly is dedicated to Maureen Rose, whose wonderful generosity, kindness and support has been since the beginning, and continuous to be a blessing to the author and the whole WORKTALK ministry.
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