randal was so stinkin’ perfect.
confession: i’m a bit of an ‘apprentice’ junkie. we have a group of friends over every thursday night to watch the show together. and like most viewers, and most of randal’s fellow competitors, i had him picked as the clear winner fairly early on in the season that ended last night. and the guy seemed really amazing on every single level.
but in the last 3 minutes of the finale last night, he pulled a king uzziah on us.
remember uzziah? he ‘did what was right in the eyes of the lord’, following a bunch of kings who didn’t. he experienced god’s power in such amazing ways, and stood firmly in the middle of god’s will and work for many years. but his fatal flaw (a phrase i’m borrowing from a talk i heard years ago by dan webster that has really stuck with me) was revealed when his arrogance lead him to step into a priestly role and snatch the incense out of the hands of a priest. leprosy broke out on his face, and he spent the rest of his years in seclusion.
we all have fatal flaws — some of us more obviously so than others. when i first heard this concept from dan webster, i was at an event with a group of pastors from the church i worked with at the time. we gathered that evening, and in debriefing our day, talked about this idea. and we all identified our own fatal flaws; the one thing that was likely to ‘bring us down’, if anything did. i remember our senior pastor revealing what we all knew, that, unchecked, he would be a sexual predator (thankfully, this has never manifested for this guy). i remember, as a young guy, saying to him, “you’d be a total slut!” and i remember his nervous laughter.
my fatal flaw is self-sufficiency. there are lots of pieces that fit under that umbrella. but that’s my achilles heal. and i think an awareness of this has been highly instrumental in — so far — keeping me from massive failure.
back to the apprentice finale. randal had been the magnanimous one. he’d been a strong leader, but had done so with heart and gentleness. he’d helped other people be successful.
we all saw the ‘surprise’ coming — that trump was going to offer a job to both of the final apprentice candidates. they were both so sharp. and when trump told randal ‘you’re hired’, we could still tell he was going to bring it back around and hire rebecca (the other finalist) also. but trump asked randal. he gave randal the chance to be the good guy one more time and agree that rebecca should also be hired. she started grinning, because it was clear what was about to happen. and everyone knew randal’s character (or thought they did), and knew he would agree she should be hired.
but he shocked us all. randal said there can only be one winner, and that rebecca shouldn’t be hired. he said the show is called ‘the apprentice’, not ‘the apprenti’ (a cute way of making it plural). and in an awkward moment, trump obviously felt trapped (something i doubt he experiences very often) to go along with randal’s shocking turn in character. so rebecca wasn’t hired.
randal had nothing to lose by agreeing that rebecca should be hired. he was already clearly ‘the winner’. but his selfishness, that we’d never seen, popped its ugly head out and revealed him.
i pray my own fatal flaw never undoes me — especially in such a public way!