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Our world is addicted to ‘that other thing’. I was at a football game recently where several people in the row in front of me were watching a different football game on their phones. They had really good (expensive) tickets for a great game, but they were more interested in the game they weren’t at. Why? I don’t presume to know their specific situation but I think it is a great metaphor for the state of human interest in the world today. We just aren’t that impressed with what we have, who we’re with or what we have to work with. Whether it’s the friends we have, the environment we work in or the people we attract to our businesses, churches or organizations, everyone seems to have it better than we do. They get to hang out with the cool people. Those guys horde all the high performers. Over there they get paid more to do less. Our comparisons have no end. What if I told you the key to incredible impact, tremendous growth and lasting fulfillment was staring you in the face? It is. And it is disguised as the blasé stuff and boring people you’ve already dismissed.
George Washington Carver, the famous botanist and inventor is quoted as saying “Anything will give up its secrets if you love it enough. Not only have I found that when I talk to the little flower or to the little peanut they will give up their secrets, but I have found that when I silently commune with people they give up their secrets also – if you love them enough.” If you love them enough… I could live the rest of my life on that quote. Everything thrives in an environment of love and delight. Everything. Your family, your business, your church, your staff, your friends, even (and maybe especially) your dog! Once you have devalued a person or experience to the point of disinterest then you have disqualified YOURSELF from being able to experience the power, beauty and benefit that could have been realized. Everyone shrinks back and retreats once they have been weighed, judged and determined to be less than. But perhaps it’s not too late to change your opinion? (Click Here To Read My Post ‘Miles Apart in the Same Room’)
Going All In
If you understand the principal of compound interest then you know the best time to start investing your money was yesterday. However, the next best time to start is today because once you fully dive in, you start getting the benefit of the forward momentum of interest. It can be scary to go ‘all in’ but until you do you aren’t eligible to reap the full reward. Life can be the same way. The person in the car with you may not be as cool as the person on Instagram but they are present and the other isn’t. That person in the next seat over has amazing stories, interesting perspectives and insight to give. But they won’t offer it and you will never know it if you dismiss them or ignore them by choosing ‘that other thing’ that seems to have so much more value. That employee that you are ‘completely over’ may have so much more to offer if you poured yourself into him/her. Likewise, that job you hate may actually be your dream job a year from now if you started choosing to love it, give your very best and go ‘all in’! You just won’t know if you simply decide it’s the worst and start looking for something else. The grass may look greener on the other side, but it has to be cut and watered too. (Click Here To Read My Post ‘The Illusion of New and Exciting’)
If we are constantly focused on bringing in new people to our churches or organizations without pouring ourselves out on the ones who have already bought in then we will have a constant revolving door. If we overlook the clients we do have for the ones we wish we had then we’ll be wishing we had the ones we used to have… because they’ll all soon be gone! And where did they go? To a better product, service, congregation or community? Not necessarily. They went to the place they felt most valued and appreciated. Maybe you can’t keep pace with the competition? Your budget, infrastructure, programming, or personality are no match for the ‘other guys’. The best news is that you can offer the things everyone is looking for; love, acceptance and value. It all depends on if you are willing to see them as worth it. (Click Here To Read My Post ‘Relationships Are Always Worth Restoring‘)
Love At First Sight
Jesus didn’t wait until we loved Him to give His life for us all. The Scriptures say that ‘while we were yet sinners Christ died for us.’ God loved us first and then we were able to respond. He loved what was unlovely and made it lovely. You have the same ability because you were made in God’s image. Life is made sweeter not by seeing better things but by seeing things better. The best view in town belongs to the one who sees the beauty in what they are looking at. Our days are not made up of endless sunsets by the ocean but that doesn’t mean we aren’t surrounded by beauty. While it is true that sometimes you can love well and still not meet the expectations of certain people that is not a good excuse for not trying to see the beauty in the next one. (Click Here To Read My Post ‘Driven By Gratitude’)
The person who will be your friend is a great friend to have. The one who will support your business is a wonderful client and the one who will attend your church is a great parishioner. Love who you know. Love what you have. And love what you do. Do that long enough and watch how your circle of friends expand, your business grows or people flock to your congregation. All the flowers stretch towards the sunlight. Keep shining.
From the Bible
We love each other because he loved us first. – I John 4:19 NLT
But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. – Romans 5:8 NIV
Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. – Romans 12:10 ESV
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