A Red Letter Day
This past work week has been one of the most hectic weeks I have had in years. Many different things going on and not enough hours in the day to make it all happen. I have done all kinds of things including a debrief on some training I conducted in St. Louis area almost 2 weeks ago and I have been assisting another client come up with the final budget and revenue projections for this year. I have helped to review job evaluations for another team I work with and have spoken into the strategic plan for an east coast client. Above and beyond all this I have been working on sales and vendor relationships for a company that I assist locally. Then, on top of everything else, the end of January happened on Thursday and that meant that I also had to prepare my month end billing as well as file tax returns for the 4th quarter of 2012.
To say that this week has been non-stop is almost an understatement. Although I pride myself on the fact that I can usually work pretty hard for the entire week, by Friday evening I am ready to kick back and relax a little. This past week I was dragging by Wednesday. I have been working on a big project and thought that I had the deal done earlier in the week. Unfortunately, I was mistaken. The other party had to get some higher level approvals and the deal started to sour in the 11th hour. It was incredibly frustrating that all the work of the past two weeks was swirling the drain. Remarkably, Friday afternoon at 4:57 pm, I got the call that the deal was approved and we were ready to move forward with signatures.
The truth be told, I was too mentally tired to celebrate the achievement. I was at the point that I didn’t care if the deal got done or not. I gave everything that we could give and I felt that the other side was holding up the works without upper management having a front row seat to the proceedings or the personalities involved. But you get the idea – alternating waves of emotion and frustration for the entire week. It took its toll.
When the leadership team finally got together to discuss the outcome, the owner of the company told me that it was a “red letter” day. It was a very interesting choice of words. That’s because when I think of “red” letters, I can’t help but think of the words of Christ that are usually printed in red in most Bibles. What ties this all together is the fact that the company is a faith based company dedicated to Christian principles and we extoll the virtues of teamwork and servant leadership. When any one of us gets amped up and tries to take control of things, the rest of us rally around and remind one another that God is still on the throne and that all we need to do is to be obedient to His will and let God handle the outcome.
You have probably heard this from me before, but it is clear to me that while doing the work is up to us, the result is up to God. At the center of all of this is prayer. In fact, we have one employee, a Vietnam veteran, who is one of the greatest guys I have ever met. A devout believer, he saw me getting a little frustrated late Friday afternoon and decided that I needed prayer. Right then and there he reminded me of God’s provision and went on to say that he felt the most important thing he did at work was to pray for the rest of us. That’s pretty humbling when someone believes that praying for you is the most important thing on their daily list of things to do. And this man devoutly believes that is the reason he works with us – to cover us with prayer and thwart off the advances of Satan. I love it! In fact, I have, on several occasions, gone to see him and asked for prayer when I am in a tough negotiation.
Now you might think that I’m making this stuff up, but I’m not. We really have prayer warriors in the company – and there aren’t many organizations that have that kind of coverage for their leadership teams. I am privileged to be a part of the group.
So when we received word that the deal was done, it really was a “red letter” occasion – there was no doubt that God was right there in the middle of it all. The verse for tonight reflects that we have no real idea how God works in situations like this. From Prov. 3:5, we are told, “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding…” That says it all – no explanation necessary.
My encouragement this evening is that God responds to prayer. Even when you think that God is too busy to be concerned with the outcome of your issues, God is already at work on the problem. My prayer is that you will take the time to petition the Lord when you need help or don’t know what to do. And please make sure to surround yourself with like-minded people. Because we don’t have all the answers, but God sure does. Have a great day in the Lord, grace and peace…