Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Taking a Leap of Faith

Back in January of 1990, I took a position as the operations manager on the night shift at Bankers Trust Company New York located at 130 Liberty Street on the 36th floor in New York City. It was a difficult time for the organization then undergoing enormous cuts in their business activities, including global sales, operations, product management, credit and technology.

Early on, I had some personal doubts over whether or not I had what it takes to be successful in such a large organization. At the time, Bankers Trust Company New York was still the 7th largest bank in the country and I was now coming from The First National Bank of Toms River, New Jersey which later on May 25th, that same year filed for bankruptcy protection. Federal regulators had declared the bank insolvent after a loss of $165.8 million dollars in 1990. 5,000 shareholders in the bank, holding 9.6 million shares lost their holdings in the company. The bank that had served the community for 110 years was now gone. First National Bank of Toms River was a victim of the Savings and Loan Crisis. It was ranked 19th (in the State of New Jersey) during the crisis in size, according to book value of assets at $1.36 billion dollars.

With a young child at home, a wife, and a newly built custom home failure was not an option under consideration. What I needed more than anything else was a solid and tried bridge for crossing over the great divide between the person that I had been in the past and the full metal man that I needed to hurry up and change into for my families safety and security.

Was I scared? Yes!

What did I do about it? I wasn't sure then if I believed in God but I decided to pray anyway asking to be led through all of the upcoming difficulties of working at night, commuting back and forth by car from Lakewood, NJ to New York City everyday, while getting as little as 4 hours of sleep, and having to perform under tight deadlines in this new and tremendously fast paced business environment where billions of dollars in client deposits were being processed every day and the potential for financial and reputational risk to Bankers Trust Company loomed large when and if things were not done properly.

After a few months into the new job, I literally let go of all thoughts of being in control.  I took a giant leap of faith' and let the mysterious power of the divine carry me forward through it all from that day forward.

Miraculously, the majority of it, which was good enough for me, was met with favorable outcomes for the people around me, my family and myself. There were mistakes made but they didn't break my spirit, my confidence or my will to succeed. Even in those instances involving the most difficult of circumstances I chose to be guided by compassion, honesty, humility, kindness and by always maintaining the greatest respect for others.

Looking back now, I can say that this was one of my most intense periods of prayer in my life but it is also still a rest stop or ledge to which I often return in search for spiritual forensic clues on how to reconnect with the immanent-the sacred and regain a measure of spiritual strength when I am deep in the dark night.

Once I am able to identify previously undiscovered evidence of the divine, and it seems I always am able to do so, it affords me a renewed sense of awe, hope, love, strength and wonder--enough to go on weathering the incoming storms of the times.