Wednesday, January 18, 2012


There was no warning. He just wasn't there. My scheduled replacement, "J.W.", should be on time.

It was 11:10 p.m. I was tired. Ten minutes before my shift ended. I was sleepy and ready to go to bed. But security guards are not off duty, no matter what the reason, without being replaced.

I called the other guardhouse to inform the other guards about his absence. “Call the Lieutenant,” was the barbed reply. I knew they were right.

“Lieutenant, he is not here, again. This makes four times.”

“Big surprise, huh?” came the sleepy, sarcastic voice. “Stay put, and I'll call you back shortly,” the Lieutenant grumped.

At 11:14 a guard notifying me of the Lieutenant's actions. He had ask another guard to go to JW's house and wake him up. At 11:27 I learned J.W. was on his way. The 6-minute drive took him 18 minutes. At 11:45 he arrived. He gave no apology. His excuse was suspicious.

I relayed important information, completed the required paper work and phone call, turned the equipment over to him, and hit the door. I failed to give him a quick examination for drugs or alcohol.

This true story has been fictionalized and exaggerated. Why? So I can practice Philippians 4:8. Phil 4:8 has eight areas needing evaluation, meditation, and decisions. Phil 4:8 lead to a greater dependence of God, seeing reality through God's eyes, and making decisions to enhance life here and now.

Here is what I found. You will see areas where your help is needed.
  • Whatever is True.
    • Expect the unexpected. I need to be ready for anything.
      • Being a bit like Gumby is a good thing. Be flexible.
      • Be ready for the Lord to return. No one knows His time. Be prepared.
    • Be Patient. With planning, there is little reason for hurrying. James 1:3-4 says, "knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. 4 But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing."
  • Whatever is Noble
    • What Noble thing could I done? Suggestions? Put your ideas in the comment section, please.
  • Whatever is Just 
    • Writing him up would have been just. Justice might serve the repeat offender. It might begin disciplinary measures in hopes of correcting JW's behavior.
  • Whatever is Pure.
    • I fail to see anything Pure. If you do, please put your idea in the comment box at the bottom.
  • Whatever is Lovely / Acceptable / Dignified.
    • Could I have approached him to check for alcohol or drug use with dignity? I would like to think I could. A highly professional approach should be acceptable, even expected, from a fellow guard.
  • Whatever is of Good Report / Endorsable.
    • The third guard sent to his home is something I support. I am glad the guard did for JW's good. Would it have been better if I had went instead?
  • Any Virtue.
    • Morally, I demand punctuality in myself, noting the effects of tardiness on others.,
  • Anything Praiseworthy.
    • My Lieutenant was responsive to the situation. I should develop the ability to respond carefully and appropriately to all situations,too.


  1. Maybe writing him up would be "just" but there is also the "mercy" part that Christians should be quick to dish out....since we will receive what we dish out...
    And...the mercy giving is NOBLE.

  2. While mercy is honorable, there are consequences for bad choices in life, as well, and God has never shirked to give those out when He deemed them necessary for our discipline. As a professional--especially in the "protect and serve" department of life--you have a duty to report irresponsibility in a fellow guard. You COULD ask him if there is anything going on in his life, being kind and understanding at first, to see if he needs help in any way. Maybe let him know first that you feel the need to report his behavior and your apprehensions to your boss(es) unless he can straighten up.

    It is good to forgive sin, but it is not always good to overlook consequences, because those who consistently sin without consequences never learn. Sometimes, the best thing you can do for people is to make them responsible for their actions.



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