Many people know that a few years ago, I was supposed to have (and may still need to have) a heart transplant. When faced with such a personal and life changing situation, you tend to look at things a lot differently. Coming face-to-face with your own mortality can certainly make you think about things. Suddenly, setting goals in my life had new meaning and a new sense of urgency. I felt I was floundering a bit, and my cardiologist said I needed to set goals to increase the quality of my life. I found that there are 6 major areas of life (according to many psychologists) that we all need to address in one way or another: 1) physical, 2) emotional, 3) financial, 4) spiritual, 5) family, and 6) business. (By the way, my business coach helped me to develop goals in these areas and keep me accountable). Although we can set goals individually in each area, when they are worked on, you ALWAYS affect another area (or more). In my experience, it was impossible to keep my spiritual life (as opposed to religious, which is manmade) separate from my business life.
I have been given a gift. It is another opportunity to live and love life. I have been given the unique opportunity to get (temporarily) better health. I have been given the opportunity to choose to get back into this business and do it the right way this time. And because of that, I take joy in many of the little things—such as the ability and opportunity to pray on the job (after all, who do I give thanks to for getting better?). The guys that come to work for me understand that I had gone through a tremendous life altering experience and that I take my faith seriously and personally. However, I also tell them that they are not expected to participate, but they can if they want to. It is their decision and NOT a job requirement or expectation. No judgement, good or bad, is made of participants or those want to get to work sooner. It is during this prayer time that I/we pray individually for each worker on that job. I pray that they remain safe, and that they feel comfort in whatever they are experiencing away from work.
My faith tells me to pray without ceasing (not that I do, or am able to, but it tells me to!). It also tells me, “Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business and to work with your hands…so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody.” (1 Thess. 4:11-12)
This is an incredibly faith-exercising business. Just when you fall short of work, you need faith to keep going. Just when a worker quits, you need faith to continue. Otherwise we give up.
Some time ago, I was short on work. I, along with the one guy who started with me, got on our knees, thanked God for our talents and abilities, and asked for work to fill the next month. Within a few hours, I got a call from someone who needed work done right away, that ended up being a $12,000 interior repaint job to start within a few days. Coincidence? Maybe.
While working on this job, I saw we desperately needed somebody to give us a hand to move the job along. Again, we got on our knees, thanked God for his abundant blessings, and asked for someone to help us. Within 1 hour, my phone rang from a guy I had laid off, and whose phone was disconnected, so I could not reach him. He wanted to know if he could come back as soon as the next day. Coincidence? Maybe.
Going back to those 6 areas of life, years ago I found myself to be missing something. I just couldn’t put my finger on it. Then I heard this analogy from an author:
In our business, when we come across some rotten wood on a windowsill, we have several choices to make.
1) We can ignore the problem and paint over it (and keep painting over it time and time again since the coating will fail every time).
2) We can dig it out, fill it with something, then paint, knowing that eventually the paint and the filling will fail. Or,
3) We can completely replace the wood with new wood, properly prepare it, and keep it maintained, thereby extending the protection indefinitely.
We all know what happens to unprotected or unpainted wood.
The author then invited me to make a spiritual application of this analogy. If there were areas of my life that had voids in it (even if I didn’t know exactly what it was), I had several choices: 1) I could ignore them and gloss over them, 2) I could fill the void with some other distraction, or 3) I could completely replace it. The author introduced and invited me to replace that void with the loving gift of Jesus Christ. Frankly, I was a little surprised by this. And rather than ignore the offer, I decided to accept—as we all can.
Now, this isn’t the place or time to go into this long theological (or “religious”) discussion of how this happens or what this is. But if anyone has any questions that they would like some answers to, or wanted to ask about filling any voids, feel free to email me. I’d be happy to privately respond.
And I welcome you to fill the void in your life by accepting the precious gift of Christ and what he did for you, even when you don’t deserve it or ask for it. But you can accept it…now.