Open or Closed System?

I’m reading a book titled “Integrity,” by Dr. Henry Cloud. There is a section talking about the 2nd law of thermodynamics. That law says that all things in a closed system have entropy. That is order tends toward chaos, the usable energy becomes less usable, and there is a basic deterioration that takes place over time. Dr. Cloud then applies that to us as humans if we are “closed.” He says to reverse the trend we must be open to two things from outside ourselves. The first is energy and the second is a template or usable direction for that energy. With those two things from the outside a person or system is no longer closed and can circumvent the law of entropy. With only energy but no plan or a plan but no energy, not so much.

My first reaction to this reading was how important it is for me to be open! I must allow both the Lord, others and stimulating learning opportunities to infuse new energy into my life regularly. I also need others like mentors, coaches and friends who will speak the truth in love to me so most the things I take in can be used in a purposeful way.

My second thought was concerning churches and how easy it is to become ingrown. Not just ingrown by not reaching outside the walls, but more ingrown at the leadership level. I think if I ever pastor again, I will develop relationships with some business leaders who do not attend my church and ask them to meet with me on a regular basis. The purpose of that meeting would be to hear from outsiders how the community perceives the church. It would be to infuse some outside energy into what is usually a fairly closed system of leadership. I would want to hear from more than my staff, more than the elders because all of those people tend to become insiders too quickly. There is nothing like coming to a church office everyday to blind a person from the real world the constituents live in. Even churches that have great outreach, if the leadership is a closed system, it is doomed to deteriorate. This can all apply to leading a business venture as well. Outside energy and feedback that is incorporated into a plan of action is your friend.

In recovery, the acronym “HOW” is given to teach how real life change happens. If you are honest, open and willing good things can happen and the deteriorating can be reversed.



About Scott Ranck

Enjoying life with my wife Gayle and our Yorkie, Zoe boy. I've come to believe life begins when through brokenness I can embrace it fully and openly. I've learned the human drama is an adventure and all of us are made of the same stuff. The Lord is the only being who knows me fully and he has an individual educational plan of life long learning for me and I'm enrolled. This blog is all about what I'm learning.
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