I like scripted events when I am responsible for the outcome. There is a wonderful sense of flow to everything. Inputs, controlled responses, and outputs come together in the way I imagined. It seems like music. It is an enjoyable book. It is also magical.
Some see scripted events as exercises in manipulation. People are coerced into the actions management wants them to take. Outcomes fit in a defined box. Communications and outcomes are presented as propaganda. Everything fits, almost too well.
As I look at the chaotic scene unfolding in front of me, I am reminded that there are advantages to a script.
Where there is an order to things, the experience that emerges provides confidence to the community. When “Paul refused and demanded a hearing before His Majesty in our highest court. So I [Festus] ordered him returned to custody until I could send him to Caesar in Rome.” (Acts 25.20,21) Paul knew how Festus would respond. He was confident the system would work.
Planned order affirms a communities’ understanding. The fears and doubts present in any plan melt when plans work.
A shared understanding of how things work will open the best to a world of new possibilities. Old uncertainties have been addressed. Problems that dominated yesterday’s conversation are distant memories. The new question is “what is next”?
As I look out, I realize that life rarely operates on automatic. Communities often find it difficult to put their fears behind them. Good scripts are never perfect. What should be automatic is often more chaotic. People forget the plan, especially when it is stressful.
I also find myself asking about my approach. Am I thinking or on automatic? Do I force events into a predefined box? Am I willing to adapt? Am I open to hearing? Am I willing to be flexible?
The questions are endless, yet they remind me that life is more art than script. The moment demands our full attention. Freedom gives us the opportunity. We can make a difference. Scripts reflect our priorities and values. Our choices give them life.