Welcome to the robot machine at my work
Over the last few months, I have learned a few things about robots.
I am assigned to clean in zone four and zone five at the back of the welding department. I do not mind the long walk back to my area in the mornings for a couple reasons. First, if I time it just right, the sun comes in on the right side of the building and shines in the windows right on my area. It only lasts for a few minutes, but it is a great way to start my day. The other reason is the long view across the welding department as I walk to my area to clean. I love the sight of all those robots working harmoniously, spitting sparks high in the air, and all moving at once. It is a perfectly choreographed dance of labor and fireworks. So some days I can start my day with a deep breath of machine and nature both awakening before me.
I have had opportunity to work in the welding department a couple times during the last few months. It is a nice change of pace from my daily routine. It was not very difficult. You plug a couple parts into a jig, step back, and hit the button. If you are lucky, the parts fit in the jig without having to beat them down onto there. You also have to make sure you are back behind the light barrier before you press the button. On one line that I worked, there were pins that popped up into the jig to hold the parts in place, and you had to wait for them to pop up before you could load the next one. Loading the machine is tedious work, and it is harder to find ways to pass the time because you cannot leave your station. You have to keep pace with the robots, and you cannot go too fast or too slow.
Each line has a computer somewhere nearby it and a lockout gate. I have not yet figured out if each line is programmed at the line itself or if the programs are written at some other point in the building and then sent to each line. Each robot moves individually, but is perfectly coordinated so as not to crash into the others nearby it. Each twist, turn, and weld is programmed according to the space provided for the individual robot in each line. It is staggering to think about the complexity of the work that is being accomplished in the welding department. It is even more staggering to think about the human effort it takes to keep the “machine” running efficiently.
As usual, this got me thinking about our walk with God.
God has a perfectly orchestrated plan playing out all around us. The point of his plan is that as many people would learn to love him and accept salvation as possible. Each individual has a specific role in this plan. Like the programming of those robots, there are factors that determine how fast or slow the pace is. Each line has a different number of steps in the process that determines how long it takes. Each of us as individuals has different steps in our process towards him that determines how long it takes us to achieve the goals he has for us. We cannot go faster or slower than the pace God has set for us.
The complexity of the programming and work in welding is nothing compared to the level of complexity we are dealing with concerning God’s plan. If a robot breaks down, the line is stopped until repairs can be made. God’s plan never breaks down. Robots depend on human beings to perform the work they are programmed to do. God’s plan also depends on human hands to perform the work, but his plan allows for only humans who volunteer to perform the work. Robots have no choice. (Although I am sure, maintenance would tell you that some of them have a mind of their own.) Besides human error, so many other factors can disrupt the work that the robots are doing. While sometimes it might seem untrue, nothing can disrupt the work God is doing. Here is a funny thought. If you accidentally step into the light barrier on a welding line, the work is disrupted. If you step into the light of God’s plan, the work is actually closer to being completed.
One last thought. No matter how much dirt you might have gotten into, God can clean up your life and bring you peace. The smallest amount of dirt on a robot can affect the quality of the parts it produces…so a clean robot is a happy robot.