Sunday, September 25, 2011

Just in Time Production

Last week my co-workers and I took a tour of the Hyundai plant here in Montgomery, where Sonatas and Elantras are manufactured. I am by no means a car fanatic; I'm way more interested in how many cupholders a car has and whether or not it has an iPod port than in horsepower. However, I'm also a big nerd who enjoys watching the History and Discovery channels and likes seeing how things are made, so seeing a massive production like this up close was pretty cool.

The most fascinating aspect of the tour to me was learning that the plant uses "just in time" production management--meaning that its supply trucks are precisely timed and coordinated to arrive just in the nick of time for the cars being produced at that time. It's so precise, in fact, that the suppliers know the exact order of the cars being produced at that particular time (for instance, two Elantras, one Sonata, two Elantras, etc.) and are able to load the parts onto their trucks in the exact order that they need to be taken off of and put onto the assembly line.

It's quite mind-boggling, especially considering that a supply truck pulls up to the plant roughly every minute and a car rolls off the assembly line every thirty seconds or so. It's an extremely fine-tuned production that, quite frankly, would have me nervous as all get out if I was in charge of coordinating it all. There are obviously some incredibly talented folks who have planned out and coordinated this production.

As I thought more about it later, I was reminded that, impressive as Hyundai's production is, it can't hold a candle to God's timing and orchestration of everything. I struggle at times to accept His timing. I just don't understand it. It's especially hard when it seems like things are changing or progressing for people around me but I just feel stuck in this same rut that I've been in for quite a while. I tend to forget that life is bigger than me; God's orchestrating an entire world and I'm just a small part of that big puzzle. Just because I think I'm ready for a new chapter in my life doesn't mean that everything else is aligned for it just yet.

It's times like that when I cling to verses like Psalm 139:16:

You saw me before I was born.
      Every day of my life was recorded in your book.
   Every moment was laid out
      before a single day had passed. 

And Psalm 31:14-15a:

But I am trusting you, O Lord,
      saying, “You are my God!”
 My future is in your hands.

And I have to especially remind myself of this verse from Isaiah 55:9:

For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, 
so my ways are higher than your ways and 
my thoughts higher than your thoughts.

I'm thankful for all the times when I've been able to clearly see how perfect God's timing has been, in both small and major situations. That doesn't mean that I don't still wrestle with His timing. But I think that the older I get and the more experiences I go through, my expectations for God to come through at just the right time--and that's HIS time, not MY time--are growing more and more. That helps make this waiting period a little more easier to endure. 


That Girl said...

There is a company in Cullman that supplies parts for the Mercedes plant in Vance. I LOVED the idea of having to get just the right part at just the right time. Never put a spiritual spin on it but thanks for helping me see that!

The Khans said...

I love how you always can tie in your daily activities to spiritual revelations. Love reading your posts!

Lisa said...

Thanks to both of you for the encouragement about my writing. Just what I needed--"just in time"! :)