On Monday of this week, I spent almost all day working on The Special Gathering of Indian River data base. Then I printed a set of labels for our members, one for our elders and friends and a third set for local church pastors. I also printed our monthly pastors’ letter using the data base to personalize each letter.
While our data base system is much more complicated than any system with which I’ve ever worked, I do understand how it works. True, I spent about three years confused about how to do certain things; but our executive director and I spent three days a couple of months ago teaching me the in’s and out’s of the system. Now I know have a handle on what is needed and how to make the data base do what I need for it to do.
I was particularly happy Monday night because I had updated the system, printed my labels and gotten my letters printed with the March 2012 income/expense statement on the back of the letters. Each time I passed the table where they rested, I was happy that I’ve gotten all the little hitches straightened out; and I could accomplish the job correctly.
This morning when the Newsletter team was labeling the newsletter, I got a text. ”Your letters and labels don’t match. They are way off.” Each month we send our monthly 12-page ministry newsletter to pastors and include a letter updating the churches with what has happened during the month. Puzzled, I texted back.
How could this happen? I was so proud of my accomplishment. The pastor’s letter is put into the newsletter. We print the letters and the labels in the same order so that they coordinate, making it easy for the newsletter team to match letters to labels.
Just as I was getting over the shock of my scrambled labels, I got another text. ”Ran out of newsletters for you because you ran too many labels for your members.” Somehow I’d run double labels for our members. Disheartened and confused, all I wanted to do was to drive the 50 miles to see if I could help straighten out my mess.
There are times that we flub an endeavor and we know that we haven’t done a job quite up to par. But then there are times like today when we believe that we have done a good job–perhaps the best in years–and find that we have scrambled and confused everything, making a lot of extra work for someone else.
I am again reminded of Titus. Paul emphasized to his young pastor friend that as leaders we must always be seeking to live a disciplined life. That means we should be seeking God to purify us. I was really humbled today. My inability to do my job correctly meant that other people had to work twice as hard doing their job.
None of us live in a vacuum. Almost everything we do affects someone else in some way. Early this morning, my good friend, Diana, texted me and simply said, “I love you and I’m praying for you today.” Later in the day, I was extremely grateful for her prayers because of the mistakes I’d made. Even though I’ll tell her how much I appreciate her text and why it meant a lot to me, she probably won’t be able to imagine what an encouragement her prayers were to me.
Have you had a scrambled day? Was there someone who reached out to you? Perhaps you were able to be a Diana to another person today. How did that happen?