The Most Important Meeting on Your Calendar

I remember the day like it was yesterday. My wife, Karen was having a rough time in her classroom, schedules were changed, kids were misbehaving, and she was exhausted. What kept her going was the promise of the nice dinner date we had planned weeks before. You can probably see where this is going …

I spent the day checking things off my list, one of which was to return a call to someone who wanted to meet with me. It just so happened that he was free that very night. As I looked at my calendar, I noticed our scheduled date night, and thought “it won’t be a big deal to break that … Karen will understand ...”

If only I practiced what I preach!

Karen was devastated and upset when she got my message breaking the date. My action made her feel like she was playing third fiddle to work and this other person.

I teach the “Pyramid of Priorities” here at House on the Rock. They come out of the flow of Ephesians chapters 4, 5 and 6.  I see hierarchy, or priority, in how the Holy Spirit revealed this list to Paul. Our first priority relationship is with God (chapter 4- 5:21). Then Paul explains how we are to treat our most important earthly relationship, the one with our spouses (chapter 5:22) … followed by our children as our third priority (chapter 6:1-5). In chapter 6:5-10 Paul tells us how to be good masters (CEO’s / employers) and slaves (employees) … that sounds like work to me; and it is to be fourth on our priority list!

Too often, we’re “upside down” with our priorities … allowing work to become the most important thing – while our relationships with God, spouse and children get the “leftovers”. By breaking my date with Karen, I told her she wasn't as important to me as my work and colleague. I had my priorities wrong side up.

My encouragement for you is to schedule your “date nights” and times together as a family in INK on your calendar. They need to be the most important meetings on your schedule …

When you do this, and keep those dates … your spouse … and children … will not only hear that they’re important … they will experience it through your actions!

Leader Strategic Capacity: To-Do Lists

Peter Drucker referred to the above principle as Purposeful Abandonment. His prime point is that first, a limited and defined opportunity exists in the marketplace, and second, that each organization has boundaries in the products and services it can offer with excellence—and thus deserving of a profit. BUT, now let us apply that to our individual leader/manager lists. How many of you have a to-do list? Most of us, I surmise. More importantly, how many of you have a STOP-DOING LIST? Unless you have both lists, you may find yourself less effective than you want to be and/or you may find your life/work balance off kilter.

Scripture illustrates this pattern for us: we are encouraged to "think on those things that are good, wholesome..." (the to-do list)  even as we are admonished to "put off..." many behaviors (the stop-doing list). As Christ followers we are to grow into "Do These Things to Reflect HIM" and to also "Not Do These Things because They Detract from Reflecting HIM."

Start a STOP-DOING list today. It will free up your schedule AND it will help you focus on those responsibilities for which you are the accountable leader.