The hearing didn't last until midnight. It lasted until 1am. I filed my morning version at 2am. The upside to working a 17 hour day is that my boss called me this morning (and woke me up) to tell me not to come in today.
On a serious note (yes Troy, I used the word "serious")...I saw an interesting lesson played out in this hearing. There was a simple reason for the extreme length of the hearing. It all came down to lack of leadership and effective authority. The chairman of the commission was supposed to hold each attorney to a certain time limit and enforce various rules throughout the proceeding. Instead, he just let the attorneys walk all over him and run the show. They kept running out of time and would just keep talking and he wouldn't make them stop. He allowed all sorts of comments to be made that should have been overruled. He attempted to be "fair" and ended up being weak. If he had been more forceful the hearing would have been carried out in a more judicial and timely manner.
The part that really struck me was that although the attorneys were running away with the show, they would have preferred a more structured hearing. They took advantage of the opportunity to do what they wanted. But it backfired on them by making the process so much longer and more difficult. How many times do we do that with God? We treat Him like a weak leader, like we think we know what is better for us and we don't have to listen to Him. We try to run the show and we end making everything more complicated and painful. God is not a weak, ineffective leader. But in our flesh we choose not to accept His authority and end up getting stuck in a miserable situation.
I pray I will have the humility to let the Lord lead, resting in the knowledge that He knows the schedule, the methods and the final decisions for my life.