The planting of ideas in the mind is something I have
personally experienced. Scientists might refer to this type of experience
as inspiration, while theologians might refer to it as personal revelation.
To give a specific example, as the
geotechnical co-founder of Landmark Graphics Corporation, I
participated in a fundamental change in oil and gas exploration and
production worldwide, affecting all sizes of oil companies. This change occurred
during the time of one of the most significant business restructuring
the world has ever
seen, with hundreds of thousands of people leaving the oil industry, both through
layoffs and through early retirements. Admittedly some left because
they did not keep up
with technology changes, and a few hold me personally
responsible for their unemployment. Yet another paradox. It seems even when one
strives to do good things, bad things sometimes happen.10 |
When Landmark's initial funding was announced, on December
15th 1982, the business goal was to become a leading provider of
interactive solutions for interpreting 3-D seismic surveys and other
Since 1982, many companies have merged with Landmark, and the software
product suite now includes both 2-D and 3-D seismic
processing, both 2-D and 3-D seismic interpretation, 3-D visualization and
modeling, well path planning, petrophysical analysis, log interpretation, geostatistical
tools, mapping, geographical information systems, reservoir
geotechnical data bases, economics, and a framework for sharing data
and all of these applications These developments required the
contributions of many talented engineers and scientists and business
people. Landmark has been a subsidiary of Halliburton since about 1997.
Halliburton, a major oil service and construction company, has been
in the news a lot since Dick Cheney, former President of Halliburton,
became Vice President of the United States. During the 2004 elections,
the Houston Chronicle reported one of Halliburton's most successful
moves while Cheney was at the helm was the purchase of Landmark
My contribution towards the success of
Landmark Graphics came from a spiritual source outside myself. I
know I was simply passing on information, which ended up having some
positive benefit to the world. The process did not happen as I
thought it would when we started out. I do not describe my role out
of an orgueil (French for
an arrogant type of pride), nor to seek recognition nor pity. I have
had more recognition than I am comfortable with. When told: "Being uncomfortable
is a weakness," I have recalled the scriptural promise, our
weaknesses will be turned
to strength, if we let them humble us1.7
Humility is hard
when things are going well.
One way I've found to keep in touch with reality is to
work with young people.
I have spent considerable time working with youth, and, in fact,
this book responds to comments from a
young lady, a former member
of our congregation.
Youth are bright, and they ask hard questions. These are questions
I have asked myself, and often find, at least to some degree, have
resolved in my own mind.
Therefore it feels right to share my resolution to hard questions.