At what speed are you doing life? Do you feel like a race car driver competing to win? Are you on a Sunday drive? Are you going fast enough? Slow enough? Do you actually see the people you are with or interact with them as people? C.S. Lewis reminds us, “There are no ordinary people, You have never talked to a mere mortal….It is immortals whom we joke with, work with, marry, snub and exploit…” Recently I had a cousin of mine tell me about an important event in his life that had happened. It was clear he hoped I could drop by and say hello in person. We lived 3,000 miles from each other but I was about to do an “in / out” trip to his city in a few weeks. I’d be in Monday late, out Wednesday late. It was an all business agenda with no time for friends…..except, what if there WAS time? What if I could make time? I decided to do just that! I flew in Sunday and we had a deeply meaningful half day of time together. I got to see his world, meet the love of his life, go to his church and be in his home for lunch, none of which would be possible on a phone call or even a video call. I SAW him more deeply. I think I saw him at “God’s Speed”, which to me means I SAW him. Seeing people is important. Do you see the people you meet?
Max DePree writes well on this matter in his book Leadership is an Art. One of his employee’s at Herman Miller was a Millwright and one day the Millwright died. Max thought he should visit the family and ended up at their home in the living room. The Millwrights widow asks Max if he’d like to read some of her husband’s poetry. Max realized that he never knew the man was a poet. Then as only Max can, he asks us an unanswerable question. Was the man a Millwright who worked at Herman Miller who was also a poet, or was he a poet who happened to work at Herman Miller? Do you have any poets you have missed at your workplace?
In his magnificent website, Pastor Matt Canlis talks about learning to live life at “GodSpeed”. Matt writes that the men and women of his church parish in Methlick, Scotland taught him “the pace of being known”. I’d encourage you to stop by and find about 30 minutes to go a GodSpeed and see what Matt learned about seeing the people of his parish. Do you see the people at your office?
If we were finishing up our coffee or coke somewhere near your office, I’d have us think together about these four questions….
- Are you living at God Speed? What is that for you?
- Do you know your team members? Do you know their spouse or kids names? Do you know what their hobbies are?
- Are you seeing your family as much as you should be? Do you know them as well as your work issues?
- How could you be fully present with people you are in contact with?
Now may your days and weeks to come be lived at the speed God wants you to live at.