As I headed back towards my hotel I could feel the call for late-night food. The only appealing option was a Kebab place with three tables on the sidewalk. I ordered food and sat down to enjoy watching people.
My reflection took a turn with the owner of the restaurant sat down next to me. With apologies, he was talking with friends about lack of a street buzz. “It is odd. Usually something is happening. Tonight is very quiet. It feels like something is missing. I don’t know what, but something.”
English, Russian, and a language or two I did not recognize blended effortlessly in the late night. In a lull, he turned to me and ask where I was from and what did I do. My answers triggered a conversation that lasted for more than an hour. Where are we going? Were banks perpetuating a scam in ripping off consumers everywhere? What did I think of …..?
At the heart of his question was “Who is in charge?”
It is a question that should sit with us often. Do we know who or what controls our lives? Have we examined the center of our lives? Who or what is there? Why?
I like to imagine that I have succinct answers to these questions. As we talked last night, I found myself questioning the obvious. Yes, I work for a bank. Our shareholders and management board are well documented. This information is in the public domain. Having said that, who is at the center of it all? There are reasons to believe we still struggle to put the client first. Evidence would suggest we could do more for our shareholders. The individuals who earn the most are not always the ones making the decisions.
Metaphorically, I realized that my questions did not end with work. I forget the answer across my life. Paul reminds me of the truth; “It’s not the one who plants or the one who waters who is at the center of this process but God, who makes things grow.” (1 Corinthians 3.7)