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Parable #4: Your Time is Now

NextThought team — October 31, 2018



The Starship Intrepid has just left dock for open space. The captain stands on the bridge. An ensign enters, escorting someone the captain has yet to meet.

"Captain," the ensign says, "I want you to meet Lieutenant Gates."

The captain's face lights up.

"Lieutenant Gates!" he says. "The most decorated fighter pilot in the quadrant! Welcome to the Intrepid."

The two shake hands. The captain continues.

"I can't tell you how honored we are to have you join our crew. I first heard about you while you were still at the academy. You broke all the records in the combat training programs."

"Well," the lieutenant says, "I just try to do my best."

"And your mission record!" the captain says. "The battle at Gondor, the rebellion on Deggolan, the raid at Remalark. All outstanding!"

"All in a day's work," the lieutenant says.

The ship's public communication system suddenly comes on with an announcement.

"Code Green! Code Green! A squadron of Sigmazoid fighters has been detected within range. All personnel to stations."

The captain looks at the ensign with concern, and then a wave of relief crosses his face. He looks back to Lieutenant Gates.

"Looks like you might see some action sooner than I thought," the captain says. "Ensign, show the lieutenant to the fighter controls."

"Whoa," the lieutenant says. "I just flew across three solar systems to get here. I'm in no shape to go into combat. I need some rest."

Calculate your estimate now

The ship's public communication system comes on again with an announcement.

"Code Yellow! Code Yellow! Sigmazoid fighters have launched scatter shots. Prepare for incoming."

The ship takes a hit. The lights flash off and on. Crew members rush frantically to their positions. The captain looks around, clearly concerned.

"I understand your situation," he says to the lieutenant, "but we've just been fired upon."

"Yeah, I noticed," the lieutenant says. "Someone needs to handle that."

The ship's public communication system comes on again with an announcement.

"Code Blue! Code Blue! Sigmazoid fighters have launched proton torpedoes. All personnel take protective measures."

That's what you're here for! I need you to handle it!

The ship takes another hit. Crew members fly across the bridge. A fire starts in the main console. The captain turns to the lieutenant.

"That's what you're here for! I need you to handle it!"

"You know what I need?" the lieutenant says. "What I need is a …."

The ship's public communication system comes on again with an announcement.

"Code Red! Code Red! Sigmazoid fighters have launched a thermonuclear particle blast. Ship's power system at 10%. All personnel resort to emergency life support."

A blast hits the ship and sends it spinning. More fires break out.

"To your battle station, Now!" the captain shouts. "When you join this crew, you're expected to report ready for duty!"

"Sorry," the lieutenant says, "but I never got that memo." The lieutenant turns to leave the bridge and shouts to the bloodied crew, "Hey! Can anyone show me to my quarters?"

The ship's public communication system comes on again with an announcement.

"Code Black! Code Bla---"

The communication system crackles out. The bridge goes dark. A sprinkler systems comes on.

The captain and the ensign stand together, dripping wet, in the darkness.

"I don't get it," says the ensign. "He looked so good on paper."

The Lesson

Learning is about doing, about putting into action, at this moment, the knowledge you have gathered so far. Always be ready to work..

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NextThought team
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