Sometimes it’s the simple truths that have the biggest impact, yet it’s those same truths that seem to slip from our mind time and time again.
As I was reading one of my favorite bloggers / idea-guy’s, Jon “The Mythic Man” Acuff, he mentioned a simple truth that has been sticking with me ever since. “Where you are is just for now… it’s not forever.” In reading this, it hit me like a ton of bricks. As I have been mulling this truth over in my mind a couple of examples started to form.
The first is with my kids. My wife and I are in an extremely tough season with whiney kids, whom we love dearly, that have so much energy and always seem to be hungry. There are times we ask ourselves, “Do you think we will miss this stage?” We always answer yes with the understanding that we won’t miss all the whining, but we will miss this stage of life that is so precious and innocent. Soon and very soon we will blink our eyes and they will be in middle school with acne on their face. Then we will blink again and they will be in college and swooning over their “true loves.” We will blink once more and they will be out on their own, carrying on the Stippich legacy and possibly have their own families. As I said, where we are is just for now… it’s not forever.
The other example is with my job. I love getting to partner with so many people and have so many conversations about all sorts of topics. I am also an avid learner and consumer of content which has helped me have better conversations with those I interact with. Is my job perfect, heck no, but it has offered me unbelievable experiences that I wouldn’t trade for anything. In moments where I may be frustrated at my current standing, I go back to the simple truth that where I am is just for now…It’s not forever. I have no idea how long I will be with my current company, but what I do know is that I am going to act as if it’s for 30 years, yet hold it loosely for whatever opportunity comes my way.
We all need to take a moment to breath in those moments of stress and realize that they won’t last forever. Remember, that as long as you are learning and growing, pressing into relationships, and preparing yourself for the next opportunity, wherever you are is just for now…it’s not forever.
Impatience doesn’t care about gender, race, or age and it reeks havoc on individuals, companies, and relationships. My wife and I have had countless conversations and even arguments because one of us, usually me, is being impatient.
It wasn’t until recently that we came to a realization about the word patience and how it relates to our lives. A few months back we, along with so many others from Lindsay’s old neighborhood, were invited to a party to celebrate the marriage of the brother of one of Lindsay’s best friends from childhood. As the day arrived, we packed up the family and went on the five minute drive to the neighborhood where my wife grew up. The home where the party was held was perfection. It had gorgeous hardwood floors throughout and each room was perfectly furnished. There was beer, wine, snacks, and desserts set up throughout the house and a local BBQ company had catered the event. The backyard was beautifully landscaped and had a relaxing water feature and a stunning lake view to cap it all off.
As I mingled with the other guests, every single conversation would always turn towards fond memories from years gone by. The memories would usually include how my mother-in-law taught their kids piano and stories about Lindsay and her parents. This party, in every aspect, was perfection.
As we packed up the kids and started the five minute trek home, we talked about how beautiful the house was, how unbelievable it was to have refreshments all over, and how great the conversations were. That was the type of party I wanted to throw. I wanted to have the perfectly manicured landscape, food and refreshments flowing from all corners of the house, and conversations of moments long gone by. As our tires hit our driveway, a different thought popped into my head. That party, as perfect as it was, took over 30 years to execute. It may have been a day of actual planning and follow through, but it took over 30 years for the whole thing to come together.
When the house was first purchased it wasn’t fully furnished with updated features throughout. It took years to fully furnish, make updates and additions, to get the perfectly manicured landscape with that calming water feature. The conversations weren’t trivial because everyone had the base of 20 plus years of background. About the only thing that didn’t take 30 years was the food and refreshments, but even having the ability to purchase them without blinking an eye takes years of putting money away so that you can have celebrations like these and not have to focus on the cost.
In the weeks that have passed since attending this party, I have come to realize how I need to have the patience to see the small steps through. When we look at the small steps taken over time, we get to see a big improvement. But in the midst of the shuffle, they don’t seem to matter at all. We all need to learn to deploy patience because it’s what helps give us perspective to see the impact we are making, and the legacy we are leaving.
Building bridges of relationship that can bear the weight of truth. This phrase needs to be ringing in our minds every time that we are talking to someone. Not because we need to be buddy buddy with every person we come in contact with, but because of how it can help us with all of our interactions.
Building bridges of relationship that can bear the weight of truth has been something of great importance even before I first heard this quote by Dr. Tim Elmore. I have lived by this phrase for decades and it has paid off greatly. The best example I have of this actually paying off is with my previous job where I worked at a local Chick-fil-A.
I worked my tail off till the last second when I clocked out for the very last time. I did this because I understood the importance of hard work and the message it sends. I also understood that not giving my full effort until the very end usually ended in a loss one way or the other. Since I moved onto my next job I have been able to stay in touch with the operator of that store and he has been a constant mentor. Not only that, but I have been able to help him out with a few things from employee reviews and even something else in relationship to some leadership training he wants to do for his leadership this Summer.
Never ever give anything but your best, because even though you are moving onto another job, you have no idea when you will have to call upon that relationship with your previous employer. It could be a letter of recommendation, needing extra hours to make some cash for a season, a mentorship, or a million and one other things. Whatever the reason ends up being, make sure that you left in such a way where they actually want to help you.
If you want to watch the most recent #ALJ video, which is all about this topic, click here: https://youtu.be/SJZGLpUT-Sc
What are some ways that you have benefitted from building bridges of relationship that can bear the weight of truth?