The bottom line, the final answer

By Ken Waddell

As a business person, and as one who like to know the parameters, the phrase bottom line is one that brings about a certain sense of comfort and freedom. It’s nice to know the bottom line, the final answer.

In life and in business, we find that adversity isn’t what kills us emotionally, it’s uncertainty. Take for example a person who takes sick and the doctors can’t figure out what’s wrong. After months of diagnosis, the word finally comes. It’s cancer and it’s terminal. There’s usually a short period of grieving for a life that’s faced with an imminent end but usually there’s almost a sense of relief. Now they know what they are facing and they can move on.

Business is like that. We like to know the outcome or at least be able to reliably predict what will happen. We need a bit of risk in our lives to keep us going, to provide some excitement, but we are largely bottom line or final answer people.

A pioneer out on the prairie faced risk and would build a sod house, then later a log house or frame house. They would get an improved wood stove and a bigger pile of firewood. Preparations of many kinds were made each year so they could survive and even thrive during long cold winters. The bottom line was well known, be prepared or freeze to death in a cold tent or sod shack.

So it is in business, in communities and in life itself. What’s the bottom line, the final answer. What’s going to happen. When will we reach success, when will we hit a wall, when will we…. ??

And so it is in life
And so it is in death.

There’s no doubt that people die but we also know, or should know, that our spirit (or soul if you like) lives on. As my old and now departed friend Percy Ford used to say, “There’s a Heaven to gain and a Hell to shun!” As we celebrate Good Friday and Easter this weekend and look at the old story again, we can celebrate the fact that our bottom line, our final answer can be much brighter than it might have seemed at first glance.

Good Friday. What a strange name for the day that Jesus was crucified. What can possibly be good about that. Very simple. Without Good Friday there could have been no Easter Sunday when Jesus triumphed over death. A Christian song says, “Because he lives I can face tomorrow.”

The bottom line, the final answer is a very good scenario for those who make sure their final answer, their bottom line is the one that God has provided.

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