Zulu Time (Greg Ferguson: Global Leadership Summit 2012)

by Greg Ferguson   © 2012 Willow Creek Association

06:00 hours
Zulu time
the sun emerges predictably red on the horizon

start the clock on the day

and we humans
emerge from our stasis,
our sleep,
and we take up the responsibility
of free will
mostly unaware that we are


one to another
in invisible pathways

shipping lanes
prevailing winds
genetic strains
climate patterns
tidal pulls
the mysterious inroads of prayer

when one is lost, another grieves
when one is hurt, another bleeds

this day is in our hands…

what will we do with it?

a visionary speaker
sparks an innovator
a design takes shape
wheels set in motion
giving birth to a movement
spreading like a flame
through a church
an enterprise
a city
sparking new ideas
new adrenaline
walls fall and doors swing open
giving life and hope to
hundreds thousands
moving mountains

feel it?—

it’s everywhere

a quiver in the atmosphere
disturbing the Pacific Rim
fears in Japan
spark prayers in Berlin


a flashing light
an ambulance siren
a freakish cold spell in Lisbon
child and father under blankets
shivering by the bank on Boulevard St Germaine
Hanover Street in Baltimore
by the convenience store
look in those eyes
movement in the ocean floor
United Nations
Children without vaccinations

09:00 hours Zulu time
leaders gather in New York
scribbled notes from a speech
pen and ink on a Moleskine
three inspired physicians
having made a point to listen
now engage in conversation
posing the question:
will these great minds be moved…

…to action?

they wish to learn
they book a flight
wings lift off into the night
passport check
Congo Kinshasa
sworn enemies
humble themselves
before a 40 inch screen
(as praying souls in Paraguay hold their breath
on their behalf)


they gather to learn
to heal and to hear
hands join in prayer
clearing the air
willing to be moved
letting go the deepest of the wounds
excising the fear
for the first time

in one hundred years

instantaneous paths of prayer
whisper synced from here to there
decisions to leave
decisions to stay
soldiers drop to their knees to pray

13:00 hours

taking up arms
worldwide protests
desperate prayer requests
old regimes fall
new ones rise
sleeping churches come alive
calls to action
cyber campaigns
after the drought
comes at last

the rain

Sao Paolo
statue of Christ with open hands
voiceless children
white hot sand
drug trade
street lights
gang signs

follow down every pathway

slums of the Dalit
zoom in on Cairo
the Zabaleen
Garbage city
children’s unprotected souls and feet

one woman listens to the Voice
in the silence
and an idea
catches fire
in the desert wind
the dry season ends

the healing begins

South Asia
a church in a city that must not be named
one step away
from being found out
shut down
but for the prayers in
Des Moines
and Bahrain

always listen
watch the streets
read the signs
between the lines

in hiding
in tubs
in fonts
in pools
in lakes
the cleansing water
the tides
the surf


from the heat of desperation
comes connection
Japanese youth
take up a collection
for reconstruction
digging out from under the quake
caring for those left in the wake
spending themselves for the sake
of the broken

what it takes
is one listening ear
wherever you are
tuning in
finger to the wind
a willingness to be moved

23:59 hours
Zulu time

the stars glow predictably white in the black night sky

some keen observers connect the dots
and see them as constellations

others of scientific mind
see them carried along with us in a vast gravitational sweep
that moves galaxies

others see each star as an unrelated


individual point of light

all on its own

in the universe

each awake and looking human being
takes one last look at those brilliant points of light
and drifts off to sleep

reset the clock for one more day…

what will we do with it?

About theemptycanvasexperience

The Empty Canvas Experience is all about the Church experience, which leads to Spiritual Transformation. Every service, everything actually starts with that empty canvas. It takes a synergy between sometimes just one or a few elements to communicate the message. A Message that would lead to insight and even better, integration! Transformation!

Posted on August 9, 2012, in Global Leadership Summit. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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