From my house to the doorstep of my office downtown I pass a total of 14 churches every morning. Many take advantage of their marquees to display special thoughts for the week. In addition to the “We love you Pastor Alberts,” are recycled thoughts more familiar to us such as “Remember, even Moses was a basket case!” and “Giving the Devil your fruit creates bad jams!” One morning during Thanksgiving season, I saw one a bit more novel. It read, “Are you wearing an apron or a bib today?” Whoa!
We won’t approach the social and political ramifications of that question. For now let’s focus on the home front and workplace where everyone, in one form or fashion, is taking care of business. Many are doing double shifts right now, covering for others on vacation. It is a law of human nature that when you are overwhelmed and overburdened, you are more resentful of those who appear to be cruising through their day. If you doubt this, ask any woman in the kitchen on Thanksgiving Day or the parent of a teenager.
Our daily activities and work ethic are genuine reflections of our values and beliefs. Sadly, we waste time in using them as a handy yardstick to measure everyone else’s behavior instead of our own. Whining and hosting pity parties is childish. Great examples can be every bit as contagious as poor ones, which reminds me of another church sign: “Give weeds an inch and they’ll take the whole yard.”
It brought to mind a column from the Afterhours Inspiration Stories website I used years ago when speaking at a Hall of Fame induction.
The Difference is Effort
Dan and Jim started work at Starling Imports on the same day. Both men were trained as sales reps and were considered honest, hard-working employees. Within a year, however, Jim was promoted to an executive position while Dan was passed over. Dan felt unappreciated by the company and soon became so resentful of Jim’s success that he drafted a letter of resignation and gave it to his boss.
“Dan, this is a surprise to me,” said the boss.
“Well, I was pretty surprised at the recent round of promotions,” snapped Dan.
“I see,” said the boss thoughtfully, “But I don’t think you do. Tell you what. Before I sign off on this, do me a favor and go across the street to the farmer’s market. Find out if anyone is selling oranges.”
“Uh, well, okay,” said Dan as he started off on what he considered a strange errand. Minutes later, he returned and reported, “Yes, there are oranges for sale at the market today.”
Then the boss called Jim to his office and asked the same favor. About 15 minutes passed before Jim came back to the office and reported.
“There is only one vendor with oranges today. His name is Gus. He sells Florida oranges at $5 for a 3-pound bag or a 5-pounder for $8. They’re tree-ripened and sweet. And he’ll give you a volume discount for any order over 50 pounds. Was there anything else you needed?”
“No. Thanks,” said the boss as Jim walked away.
He turned to Dan and said, “Did you still want to give me this resignation?”
“No.” Dan blushed with embarrassment. “I understand your decision now and I think I can be more like Jim. Do you think he’d teach me how?”
If we are serving with a full and joyful heart, the rest will take care of itself. Leave your apron on.
~From the desk of Becky Morlok~Share with a Friend or Colleague