What would you do when confronted with this sign? Surely you would simply change lane right away. Easy.
But this experience was never easy for the three people under me this week. They suddenly found their lane was blocked and there is no way to go but take another path.
This was not the first time I did this. I have fired several people in the past. But doing this very unpleasant job is never easy even with much experience. It is never simple to tell a person to leave, even with all the valid and varied reasons: incompetence or dishonesty, redundancy, downsizing or closure.
I cannot forget the look in their faces when I broke the news to them. No matter how kind and humane I did it, the news still fell like a heavy rain drenching their spirit. The glow in their eyes was suddenly snuffed like a candle light blown by a strong, unforgiving wind. Encouraging words that there is life after this may have sounded like a distant echo. It was hard to comprehend. It was irrelevant at the moment.
Yes I know that justice was served. Between me and my God, He knows I just did my work. But at the end of the task I cannot help but lament. It was never easy to break someone's heart, much more, someone's dreams and aspirations. But in times like this when I was left with no other option but to carry it out, I have to do it with a strong heart.
It seems just like yesterday when I nurtured them with encouragement and motivating words. I took care of them, honed their skills, and stoked their eagerness to learn. Between me and my God, He knows I did my best. Now it is the end of the line. I was writhing with pain. Mine was just miniscule compared to theirs. The agony I felt was nothing in contrast to them wondering what lies ahead.
I cannot comfort them but I hope they find solace in these verses from Ecclesiastes 3:1-8
For everything there is a season,
And a time for every matter under heaven:
A time to be born, and a time to die;
A time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;
A time to kill, and a time to heal;
A time to break down, and a time to build up;
A time to weep, and a time to laugh;
A time to mourn, and a time to dance;
A time to throw away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
A time to embrace, And a time to refrain from embracing;
A time to seek, and a time to lose;
A time to keep, and a time to throw away;
A time to tear, and a time to sew;
A time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
A time to love, and a time to hate,
A time for war, and a time for peace.