Thursday, January 26, 2017

Love Is Where Your Life Is

Remember when you first heard the definition of love in the scriptures? A great way to understand love is understanding this; there is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. Jesus said it Himself!

"Let's find ways to lay down our life, in life."

When we think of laying down our life we have a tendency to think in terms of jumping on a grenade or some similiar great sacrifice ending in our death. We sacrifice our life so that others may live. That truly is love.

A single act of selflessness, demonstrates love and engenders a deep sense of gratitude and new found purpose in those who were preserved... i.e. loved.

Our Lord and Saviour did exactly that. He was on a mission to give His life so that all could be saved. Again, true love, and we are motivate through gratitude that could not be gained any other way.

He died for everyone so that those who receive his new life will no longer live for themselves. Instead, they will live for Christ, who died and was raised for them. - 2 Corinthians 5:15 NLT 

It's beautiful. It's humbling. It's life changing when you get your mind wrapped around the love it took to do what Jesus did. Will we be called on to give our life for another? Maybe, yet there is something more...

Life From Life 

Let's also look at love from another angle to see all it has to offer. If we show love by a single heroic act of giving our life, could we say that, "we demonstrated love by laying down our life, in death?" Sure!

If that is a fair assessment, then could there be a side of love where, "we lay down our life, in life?" You bet!

... and this is where we are equipped to love every moment. So how do we do it?

Our Lord has defined the greatest among is the one that makes themself the lowest. The one who serves is the greater. The one who spends his life, gives life. Why? One reason is because they love greater by taking action!

Thinking fondly about someone really does nothing for them. You may feel good but if you want to love, find an opportunity to take action.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Throwing Ice Is Irrelevant

Continued from, Take Away Their Argument.

Things seemed to be off to a mundane start. The restaurant was set to open in an hour and there was much to do. Tables needed to be set. Glasses needed a polish. Everyone was busy scurrying about taking care of their assignments and teaming up to complete mutual tasks. Well... almost everyone.

Mike was a good waiter. He was a smart kid and well liked by his guests. Once the night started he was attentive to his tables and a decent team player. However, the routine tasks of setting up the dining room did not play to his strengths.

Take away their argument... again.

The Plot Unfolds

While setting up it was not uncommon for ole Mike to disappear to the room service kitchen to chat with the young ladies. Sometimes it was a jaunt out to the resorts main pool, which the restaurant overlooked, to dream about the ladies there.

Before taking his leave, Mike would ensure his section was set but then would quickly disappear avoiding the tasks that required the entire team. Well after a few weeks of this, Tommy, a fellow server, had seen enough.

One evening when Mike was making his way back from frolicking, and conveniently after setup was complete, Tommy took matters into his own hands. In a moment of exasperation, Tommy reached into the ice well and threw a handful of ice at Mike.

Fortunately, I witnessed the exchange and was able to stop a physical altercation. I immediately called them into the office to sort out frustrations and saw this as an opportunity to correct Mike's lazy habits.

Here was the playing field as I saw it:
- There was one person disrupting the team (Mike).
- One frustrated about a bad teammate, responding inappropriately (Tommy).
- Myself, with the authority to take disciplinary action.
- The restaurant manager, who was the final authority.

The Strategy

When I called the guys into the office to straighten things out, I had one main objective. That was to take my best shot at getting Mike on track during setup. Tommy, on the other hand, was actually an outstanding person and throwing the ice at Mike was out of character. I really wasn't worried about his behavior moving forward. In fact, I was glad he did it, as it gave me a reason to address Mike's issues.

I wanted to be effective and I knew that to do that I was going to have to "take away" the irrelevant arguments that I anticipated would come from Mike. Here's how it transpired:

Take Away Argument 1 - "Recruit appropriate authority."

The first step was to bring as much authority to bear, so I grabbed the General Manager and asked him to sit in the office for the conversation. I also asked him not to say anything unless he was addressed by Mike or Tommy directly. I had a strategy and didn't want him to feel he had to step in and disrupt the direction I was going take.

Mike and Tommy took a seat in front of the GM's desk, the GM sat on a stool to the side and I sat behind the GM's desk. It was a position of authority and that was important to keep everyone focused on what I was saying.