What gets pushed off your deck? Little decisions and attitudes are definitive. What is it that you push as an ideal? What ideas get advanced? What people get pressed?
- As a district leader, is dinner with the district superintendent more important than being with a young person or a newly licensed preacher?
- Is the present- “what is” more important than what “shall be” the future?
- Is the program more important than the people?
Suppose you were the captain of a huge aircraft carrier out in the South China Sea. Your crewmen suddenly alert you that a small plane is approaching. The message tells you that it is South Vietnamese, and the plane is running out of fuel. The plane must land on your deck or be lost in the sea. The pilot says aboard are himself, his wife, and their five children. They are escaping from North Vietnam. There is one small problem. There is no room on the deck for the small plane and no time to relocate the other planes to some other place on the carrier.
What would you do?
More important, in the situations listed above what ARE you doing? Big impact comes from situations that seem insignificant in the moment. It depends on making room for other people to land!
In the South China Sea, the captain of the aircraft carrier pushed three multi-million-dollar aircraft into the water. He listened to his heart – people mattered more. Few of us are faced with situations like the captain faced in the South China Sea, but we are faced with opportunities to choose to make an impact. Some ideas:
- Pay attention to children. Listen to them, talk to them, shake hands with them, speak truth to them repetitively. In a few days they will be adults.
- Invest in those who are starting. Young people, students, young preachers – I know we who have been alive for over 50 years have most of the leadership slots, but in a few decades someone who is not 18 will be District Superintendent. You have the opportunity to clear the deck of your life to make room for that person to land their plane.
- Those who visit your church this weekend are looking for a place to land. Did you push some stuff out of the way to make room for them? Some of them would love to go to Taco Bell to have lunch with you.
- College students who are new to your town, and immigrants often love to have someone like you engage with their life.
Perhaps some sitting in an office in Washington criticized the pilot for listening to his heart. If you do the things described you’ll be misunderstood and likely considered strange. You are in good company. Jesus had similar critics.
What are the things and the people who took time, pushing other things aside to influence you? Who are you taking time and pushing less important things aside to invest in?