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A king and his indiscretion
By Bruce Becker
There is a wonderful story in scripture that I would like to share with you. I believe this story accurately represents the truth of what is happening to our little company FoodQuestTQ and my frustration of not being able to verbalize it correctly. This story comes to us from 2 Samuel 12.
The Lord sent Nathan to David. When he came to him, he said, “There were two men in a certain town, one rich and the other poor. The rich man had a very large number of sheep and cattle, but the poor man had nothing except one little ewe lamb he had bought. He raised it, and it grew up with him and his children. It shared his food, drank from his cup and even slept in his arms. It was like a daughter to him. “Now a traveler came to the rich man, but the rich man refrained from taking one of his own sheep or cattle to prepare a meal for the traveler who had come to him. Instead, he took the ewe lamb that belonged to the poor man and prepared it for the one who had come to him.” David burned with anger against the man and said to Nathan, “As surely as the Lord lives, the man who did this must die! He must pay for that lamb four times over, because he did such a thing and had no pity.” Then Nathan said to David, “You are the man!
You see, an idea is a fragile thing that becomes a passion in a person’s life. That idea is a child or yet a ewe lamb to that person who created it. That idea becomes the creator’s sole focus and the creator sacrifices all to nurture and grow that idea. Families suffer because of the idea as the creator spends all his/her waking hours helping it to grow. It take many hours/days/months/years to bring the idea to fruition; time that the inventor will never get back. The inventor comforts him/herself by saying, “once my idea takes hold, I will then enjoy my life and my family.” But after the creator sacrifices so much, the rich man, in his greed, steals the life’s work of the inventor and gives that person nothing in return.
John Hnatio is that creator of an idea, predictive analytics. He planted the seed, watered it, and weeded so that nothing would choke and kill the idea. After spending his life’s savings, then finding angel investors to help to support the idea, the U.S. Government and its contractors, Battelle National Laboratories, stole that idea, giving nothing to the inventor, John.
In the story of 2 Samuel, King David eventually repents of his action, but in our story, the U.S. Government never admits guilt. They stonewall the process, hiding behind a corrupt legal system, draining every last cent from an exhausted inventor. The wise men around the king knew it was wrong, but these men of council refused to point out the king’s indiscretion. For us in the story of John Hnatio, the media are the wise men refusing to lift a finger to point out this indiscretion. It takes a prophet, a man of God, a man of truth to tell the king the story and to get the king to admit wrong. You and I who tell the story to friends, family, and loved ones, are that prophet. People of courage and conviction. People not afraid to stand up for truth.
Now, I must ask, where do you see yourself in this story? Are you a king, a wise man, or a prophet? Yet again, are you the creator of an idea that got stolen from you? Pick who you will be. Personally, I choose the role of prophet. I will tell and retell this story until the king repents and provides Dr. Hnatio his just reward. Will you stand with me?