Bible, Project Management
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Ride a Donkey at Midnight

Image: sun_rise_light_files/foter/CC BY-NC-ND

Image: sun_rise_light_files/foter/CC BY-NC-ND

What Nehemiah Did and How You Can Do Anything: Chapter 3, Measure

[by Sandy McIntosh] You can do great things, and riding a donkey is an important step.

Nehemiah is a famous Bible character who never led a victorious army or performed amazing miracles. He worked hard with his best skill set, and trusted God to multiply the results. We can all do that. And we should.

For the things that we build we need project common sense, something Nehemiah had. The greatness of this builder really stood out on the night he rode the donkey.

The impossible project was Jerusalem, and from the beginning Nehemiah was highly motivated, he clearly defined the need, and then he measured. For that he needed a donkey.

So I arrived in Jerusalem. Three days later, I slipped out during the night, taking only a few others with me. I had not told anyone about the plans God had put in my heart for Jerusalem. We took no pack animals with us except the donkey I was riding. After dark I went out through the Valley Gate, past the Jackal’s Well, and over to the Dung Gate to inspect the broken walls and burned gates. Then I went to the Fountain Gate and to the King’s Pool, but my donkey couldn’t get through the rubble. So, though it was still dark, I went up the Kidron Valley instead, inspecting the wall before I turned back and entered again at the Valley Gate. (Nehemiah 2: 11 to 15)

If you do kitchen renovations, imagine someone with a measuring tape, before you rip out the walls and order new appliances.

When we are emotional and pumped, it’s easy to jump on a horse and ride off in all directions at once.

Nehemiah opted for a donkey and careful measurements, and then he called the team together. In project management terms, he got the metrics first.

Did you know Jesus taught project management?

For which one of you, when he wants to build a tower, does not first sit down and calculate the cost to see if he has enough to complete it? Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who observe it begin to ridicule him, saying, `This man began to build and was not able to finish.` (Matthew 14: 28 to 30)

Did you know the normal life for a Christian is to build one thing after another? And Jesus wants you to get the metrics?

Take a drive through your home town, and try to find something that was not planned and built. Every church, school, business, and fire hydrant shows someone`s project skill. Where I live, most of the trees, shrubs, and blades of grass were planned, and planted.

Nehemiah’s midnight ride was some old guy on a donkey; and also a foundation for Jerusalem restored, the spiritual center of the world.

For who has despised the day of small things? But these seven will be glad when they see the plumb line in the hand of Zerubbabel. (Zechariah 4: 10)

So Define, Measure, Analyse, Design, and Verify.  Measure is planning the `what,` Analyse is planning the `how.` Measure, get the metrics; ride a donkey, hold a plumb line, or carry a calculator and a pad of paper. You were made for this. You came with a destiny and your unemployment line is in the cemetery.

I don`t have an intriguing story that illustrates any of this, but maybe you do. Please add a comment and tell us how your impossible project is progressing.

And stay with us as we take Nehemiah`s winding road to success, for ordinary people.

Read more in this series:

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