Rick Brinkley: Sine Die, in the legislature and in life

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Oklahoma State Sen. Rick Brinkley is also a pastor as well as the head of the local chapter of the Better Business Bureau. His pastor's heart shines forth in frequent thought-provoking posts on his Facebook account. He was kind enough to allow me to share a post from March 14, 2013, pondering the legislature's deadlines -- and life's deadlines. With the recent passing of my accomplished mother-in-law, I found it particularly resonant.

I'm exhausted. Today was the final deadline for Senate Bills to be passed off the floor & sent to the House.

rick_brinkley.jpgUnlike the Federal Government, the Oklahoma Legislature is required to work on a strict schedule. Every three weeks is a deadline week. Any Bill not making the deadline is dead. This ensures that things get done. No one can sit idly by while the deadlines pass. It also forces individual legislators to make tough decisions regarding their own Bills. Sometimes you have to let bills which aren't that important to you go in order to get other bills through the process by the deadline. The entire session must be over by the last Friday of May....that day is called "Sine Die"....which means "Without assigning a day for future meeting"....anything not completed by that day is dead. There's also the rule that each "legislature" is actually two years. The rules state that if a bill is killed in committee or on the floor, it cannot be brought up again until the next legislature, which this year means it could not be brought up again until 2015. If a legislator feels his/her Bill may fail when voted upon, he/she will hold the bill until the next year in order to work on it to get the votes to pass it. It causes you to look at the bigger picture of taking risks on a bill that is important to you. I, personally, think these deadlines are great.

Without deadlines, there is rarely a sense of urgency to get things done. I hope I lead my life the same way.

If you do not realize that there is a deadline on your life, you may sit idly by and watch your life unfold before you without even participating in it.

Just like Oklahoma's legislative rules:

*Sometimes you have to prioritize what is important & let things go that keep the really important things from being accomplished.

*Other times you have to place a hold on really important things to make sure you get them right. You never want the important things to fail because you didn't take the time to execute them properly.

*At some point your "Sine Die" will arrive. There will not be another day assigned to you. Everything you have not accomplished will die with you, unless you plant those dreams in the next generation to accomplish in your stead.

Every day you are living, you are one day closer to dying. Let me say that again, at the end of today you will be one day closer to dying. Have you met your deadlines & made the important things the important things?

Your life is also run by a deadline. Make sure you get everything accomplished that you can. But, realize the important things aren't things, they're the people in your life. Your deadline is 24 hours closer to arriving. Get stuff done, but celebrate life with those you love along the way.

RELATED: In March 2011, I wrote about life's intermediate deadlines and the value of having a bucket list for each distinct season of life, with a particular focus on a bucket list for traveling as a family.

(NOTE: As a student of Latin, I was surprised to hear "sine die" pronounced for the first time by a legislator. In school it would be pronounced "SIH-neh DEE-eh," but in the legislature they pronounce it "SIGH-knee DIE.")

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1 Comments

Graychin said:

I wouldn't call myself a student of Latin, but I did take a year of it in ninth grade. That was enough that anyone who says "SIGH knee DYE" sounds like a backwoods rube to me. Imagine that - Oklahoma legislators who sound like backwoods rubes. It's almost unthinkable.

Didn't these guys learn anything in school?

Oh - wait...

Carp DYE 'em, y'all.

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on March 21, 2013 1:53 AM.

Travel, tourism, and urban news roundup: Spring break in Oklahoma, Norman Rockwell in Bentonville, marketing your small town was the previous entry in this blog.

Tulsa County Republican Convention 2013: Christiansen, Vuillemont-Smith win straw polls is the next entry in this blog.

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