Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Important Visitor

We were told at the very end of the day yesterday that the President of our company will be at our office first thing today. Hello! It sure would have been nice to get a little advanced notice to spruce the place up a bit.

Oh, there are so many lessons in this situation. Here’s just a few:
Keep your space tidy. You never know who might be popping in for a visit. Having your desk (house, car, etc.) cluttered or dirty doesn’t put your best foot forward when you host the unexpected guest.

Communicate with your team. I’m sure the president’s flight wasn’t booked yesterday afternoon. Someone must have known he was coming but the information didn’t trickle down to the trenches until the last minute. People appreciate being in the loop, especially about unusual circumstances.

Be flexible. There are times when you just plain have to rearrange your day to accommodate the goings-on around you.

It is amazing the extra effort we often go through to accommodate an “important person”. In truth we should treat everyone as though they were important. Because the reality is people are very important.

Jesus gave us some great examples of this principle in action. He was chronically criticized by the cultural establishment for hanging out with the wrong crowd. “He’s a friend of sinners” was one of the slanders they used. Reading through the gospel accounts I see that even His disciples didn’t get it right away.

Over and over we see the disciples trying to “protect” Jesus so that He wouldn’t be “bothered” by some kids, or a sick person, or (gasp!) someone who was not Jewish. Jesus responded each time by making time for the culturally little people.

I think we could easily miss the take-away here. We could easily think that the “important people” don’t rate special treatment and we should just treat them just like everyone else. But that misses the point.

The real lesson is this: We should treat everyone just like we would treat the important people. Don’t lower your standards of treatment for the VIP’s in your effort to be “no respecter of persons”.

Rather raise your standards for how you value everyone else.

Jesus summed it up this way:
"Here is a simple, rule-of-thumb guide for behavior: Ask yourself what you want people to do for you, then grab the initiative and do it for them.” (Matt. 12:7)

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