I went there yesterday, to the room where ideas are born. It was terrifying.
My colleague and I walked through the lift lobby; a judge swept past in the other direction, resplendent in his silks and wig. The lift was a glass box on the outside of the building and it shot up like a bullet. Within seconds I was hovering above the surrounding buildings, looking out to the suburbs and mountains beyond. If I wasn’t so scared, maybe I would have pretended I was in Willy Wonka’s glass elevator. But I was petrified, grasping onto the handrail until my knuckles turned white under two mistaken beliefs that:
1. The lift would break off the side of the building and I would plummet to my death; and
2. Holding onto the hand rail would save me.
It wasn’t the kind of situation for indulging in childhood memories anyway. This was a grown up place; pristine and powerful. Out of the lift and in the most beautiful office space I have ever been in, we were ushered into a meeting room looking out over the whole Eastern Suburbs and lower North Shore of Sydney. Wow. I thought the view would distract me from the meeting. Not a chance. The three men I sat with tossed around deep thoughts, complex concepts and far thinking plans. All I could feel was the difference between their intellect and mine.
It really was a room where ideas are born. I wondered how many other people had sat in this room to solve high level problems and generate amazing strategy. How many cornerstone decisions had been made by people sitting in my seat? In such a dizzyingly high room, I was way out of my depth. It made me scared of how much I don’t know and it whet my appetite for a smarter, more strategic mind. As the meeting wrapped up I found myself secretly desiring the kind of wisdom that would let me think on equal terms with these people.
The meeting ended – one of the men needed to rush off. Fair enough. A man like that would have many other places to go. But he startled me with his comment:
“We need to pray before we go.”
Like a slap in the face! How easily I forgot God sitting nearly 40 stories in the air, staring out over the houses of the richest people in Sydney! How easily I forgot God as I glimpsed the brilliance of the people around me! How quickly I had indulged in selfish desires to improve my skills and status! It was just another situation where the creation was so dazzling that I forgot the creator behind it all. He is quiet and modest and he turns everything upside down. He defines glory as being born as a human in a feeding tray, loving and serving the people who are weakest and being publicly tortured and executed.
At least some of the people in the room hadn’t been fooled, even in the midst of all the things that distracted me. We descended back to earth in the glass elevator. I wanted one kind of wisdom, but I know I need a different kind. I have lots of thinking to do about the kinds of things I want for my future.