A while back, my family and I were driving to Florida for vacation when my lovely bride pointed out the sign painted on the back of a truck. As we passed it I read what it said, “Our most valuable asset sits 63 feet ahead” (referring to the guy driving the truck). Isn’t that awesome? In this age of Corporate America where greed seems to rule, this was very refreshing to see.
Seeing this truck, I was reminded of a conversation I had with a mentor of mine about two years ago. I was really struggling with stress and I was not getting everything done that I wanted to. As a result I was putting a lot of pressure on myself.
I called this friend and mentor, someone who is well ahead of me in his spiritual walk and asked, “Al, you have so many more demands on your schedule than I do (he owns several companies and is traveling all over the world working on some Great Commission endeavors). How do you deal with not getting all your stuff done each day?”
Al chuckled and said, “Jim, God dealt with me on that long ago. I love progress and I love getting stuff done. However, what God showed me was that people and relationships are more important. So, what I began to do is, whenever an employee comes in my office—which happens frequently—I do my best to lay aside whatever I’m working on and focus on them, even if I’m in the middle of something important. I figured that God is bringing this person into my life at this moment for a reason—either for them to speak into my life or for me to speak into theirs. So when I am in one of these conversations, I make it a point to let my employee end the conversation. In other words, I give them the time they need.”
Wow. I was stunned. I thought to myself how often I don’t do this in my own life, especially with my own family—“I can’t talk now, I’ve got something really important to get done!”
Al continued, “The way I look at it, if I honor God in this conversation, He’ll take care of what needs to get done on my task list.”
Double wow. I realized that, perhaps, my biggest problem was my lack of faith. I oftentimes have more faith in myself to get stuff done than I do in my Heavenly Father. This causes me to sometimes put my tasks ahead of people. Ouch.
This is especially hard for me to take since one of my primary purposes is the help people to grow into who God desires them to be. Relationships should be of primary importance to me. Yet, I don’t always treat them that way. Yikes.
Relationships are most important. That is something I need to be reminded of often, even though I’m in the business I’m in. Just a reminder that I’m a work in progress. I’m not where I need to be, but thank God I’m not where I used to be!
How do you make people and relationships a priority?