Weekly Thought – August 27, 2019
Fred studied for a lifetime. Although he was unable to attend college, lacking the necessary funding, he embodied “life long learner.” He and Mary Alice believed in higher education providing a way for their three children to each have undergraduate and graduate degrees. He committed himself to getting older, but never old. His mind stayed sharp until the closing hours as his body shut down. Ever the student, he concentrated on human relations, even his own family.
BWFLI is in the final planning stages for the What’s Next Roundtable at Palm Beach University in November. Please keep the team in your prayers. We see more than ever the importance of building into the lives of our Christian colleges and universities. Your financial support is greatly appreciated.
As a business executive I focus heavily on production. When I was young and growing in the corporation I learned about manufacturing. Later in life when I started the food packaging brokerage I employed many of the principles learned at an early age in shoe and apparel plants.
For most of my business life I have clearly understood “results are the only excuse for activity.” Accomplishment and productivity are my yardstick.
At 60 I experienced a tremendous shift in my thinking. I began learning how to define productivity in the family. That sounds strange, doesn’t it?
Our son pointed out to me my philosophy of management worked well in the office, but not so well at home. “You run the family like you run the business. You are the President and CEO. Mom serves as Vice President (with a direct line of report to you) and each of the kids has a job description.”
It never occurred to me that the family didn’t run that way. Business consultants talk about “metrics and measurements.” I completely understood that. What I totally missed and misunderstood was the outcome desired for the family. I realized my learning about this was just beginning.
Providing, spiritually leading, creating a stimulating environment – all these were in “my wheelhouse,” as the young ones say. I failed to stop and properly evaluate the genuine outcome.
After several years of arduous study and yes, struggle, I came to this conclusion: the production of the family is relationship. I am doing my best to change, but it is very difficult. All of your reflexes, all your habits, all your thought patters, all your experiences have been under a different system and its almost like a spiritual conversion. You have to become a new person.
I felt very vulnerable during this process. I encountered new experiences, made new decisions – all without the years I had with the old “run it like a business model.” I took the “by appointment only” attitude and replaced it with a desire to be part of the family. I have to admit I have yet to come to the point of sitting down and watching TV, but I no longer cluck my tongue as I pass through the room on the way to my study to do “serious work.”
Interestingly, our grandchildren were the first to notice – and benefit. They recognized I valued being with them, not just instructing, or leading from the top of the org chart.
I haven’t given up the burning desire for productivity, but I have redefined it. Relationship is now the desired outcome.
This week think about: 1) How do I measure success in the family? 2) What does accomplishment and productivity look like to me? 3) What can I begin learning right now?
Words of Wisdom: “Relationship is the production of a home.”
Wisdom from the Word: “And let us take thought of how to spur one another on to love and good works.” (Hebrews 10:24 NET Bible)