Aug. 27, 2020

Bill Simon on Ecclesiastes 3 and Exodus 14:14-15 – “When It’s Time” - S1E38


Mark is delighted to be joined by his friend, Bill Simon, for today’s episode. Bill has had a remarkable career in law, business, philanthropy, and authorship, and, for Mark, he is the epitome of what it means to be a thoughtful businessperson living the examined life in the marketplace. He has been an Assistant United States Attorney, a merchant banker, a gubernatorial candidate in California and is the leader of the most important prize in philanthropy. Bill has discovered a theme within the conjunction of Ecclesiastes 3 and Exodus 14:14-15, which he discusses with Mark today.

Bill begins by explaining the notion of a ‘spiritual director’, and then he shares his summary of the passages, the unity he finds in the two, and the reasons that he chose them for today’s discussion. He and Mark continue by discussing the three-step process for taking action which these passages delineate, and the times that Bill both has and hasn’t followed this process, particularly in his current career. Bill also explores the Jesuit concept of ‘that still, small voice’ which leads to Mark’s description of the classic Jewish angel in Mark’s life. Bill finishes the episode by sharing the lessons he has learned throughout his extensive career and how they relate to today’s passages. While it may be true that ‘there is no right action for all time’, you can rest assured that today is the right time for you to listen, learn, and be moved to action by these two titans of business, philanthropy, and biblical study.

Episode Highlights:

  • The notion of a ‘spiritual director’
  • Bill’s summary of the passages, the unity he sees in the two, and why he chose them
  • The 3-step process
  • Times from Bill’s life when he has waited for God’s direction and when he hasn’t
  • Bill’s teaching experience
  • ‘That still, small voice’
  • The classic Jewish angel in Bill’s life
  • Lessons Bill has learned about mankind

Quotes:

“There’s a time for a whole variety of things.”

“There’s no one right action for all time.”

“This passage…is a good summary of some of the minefields that I attempt to navigate.”

“Once you feel that you know the direction from God, then it’s time to move.”

“Be still, pray, get direction…and then move.”

“This was God’s will..He’s providing me a path.”

“I began to notice when I was driving home after class, I just had a feeling of peace…I don’t feel that in a lot of other areas of my professional life.”

“I was flying with God’s grace.”

“God created me the way I am.”

“If you’re strict, you can’t teach.”

“In the teaching context, I feel like I can pause and maybe impart that idea, you know, that we’re all the same."

Ecclesiastes 3 - https://www.sefaria.org/Ecclesiastes.3.1-22?lang=bi&with=all&lang2=en

Exodus 14:14-15 - https://www.sefaria.org/Exodus.14.14-15?lang=bi&with=all&lang2=en

Links:

The Rabbi’s Husband homepage: http://therabbishusband.com/

Mark’s Twitter: https://twitter.com/markgerson?lang=en

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