It is hard not to be touched by the catastrophic flooding unfolding in southeast Texas. I heard from a friend in Houston who said they were dry but their house is now on an island. That is probably not unusual. When I hear of a disaster like this, I naturally think about what my response would be and what my level of preparedness is for myself and family. At what point do you decide to persevere and when do you make the decision to evacuate?
This is both a practical and a metaphorical question. Our culture puts a lot of emphasis on perseverance and being steadfast and strong in the face of disaster. There is not a lot of talk about knowing when to flee, close the business, or evacuate the area. One definition of wisdom is to “Know when to hold them, know when to fold them.” The history of business is littered when names of companies who held on to a losing hand too long: Eastman Kodak, Montgomery Ward, Border’s Books. All stood firm as the tides of change arose around them.
In the face of a storm, do we know of a trigger point where we would say, “I am out of here?” It might be a real storm like a hurricane, tornado, flood, or forest fire, or a metaphorical one like a bad relationship, bad job, or living in an economically depressed area.
The Texas flood gives those of us on higher ground an opportunity to think about our own situation. Is it time to evacuate this job, this business, this product line, or even this town? Knowing when to run is a sign of wisdom. Keep praying for wisdom and safety for our friends in southeast Texas.