This morning I had a meeting with another community organization. I was presenting a new opportunity to work with fathers in our area and hoped they would help us. I have presented ideas, data, skills and a host of other information, to more organizations and ministries than I can count. I’ve never been asked to leave or had a bad experience but have had the occasional person I was talking to be looking at their phone, out the window or at their watch. Those presentations and discussion following seem to drag on forever. I’ve also had the organization be excited about the opportunity to partner with us. Most, however, are somewhere in the middle.
Today’s meeting was the exception because the woman whom I was meeting with was excited and had some great ideas as to how we could make part of our plan work at her location. She paid attention, listened intently, took notes, asked questions and made me feel welcomed and not rushed to finish so she could start doing something else. In other words, she was fully present in our time together. It was awesome.
It was a great reminder the difference we can make in other people’s lives if we invest our time, our kindness, our respect, and our lives in theirs.
Beth and I just finished moving furniture around in the living room. Couches, bookshelves, chairs, stools, everything. The reason we did this is that the bookshelves were given to us last week and the way we currently had our living room arranged wouldn’t work with them added. So, we moved and looked, moved and pondered, moved and finally have the room the way we think looks nice and is functional.
The last couple of hours have been a good reminder that anytime we add things to our lives, positive or negative, there is adjusting required. Each of us has a finite amount of time, energy and passion. The more stuff we have in our lives the less we have of the three. This is why mindfulness is so important. We must make sure what we add is worth the readjusting and investing of time, energy and passion.
Future Need –
It’s a beautiful Saturday here in middle Tennessee. Nice enough to plant flowers and vegetables, pick up sticks and limbs, and burn a collection of papers which have been growing in our house since last fall. I took two huge bags of forms, notices, credit card appeals, and receipts we wouldn’t want to fall into the wrong hands and little by little placed them into the flames which I’d started in our burn barrel.
I wasn’t paying much attention until a colorful receipt caught my eye. It was from the local volunteer fire department. I remember the man stopping by the house, ringing the doorbell and him explaining why he was collecting funds. We donated what we could and after he left we both agreed that when it comes to the folks who might one day receive a phone call to come and extinguish your house that’s on fire, you don’t want to be stingy.
As the receipt was consumed by fire I thought about the irony but I also reflected on the wisdom of investing in things which might not be needed immediately. However, if/when the time arrives you’ll be glad you took the time, gave what you had, respected, paid attention and didn’t ignore what might one day be your salvation!