Most businesses are forced to think about efficiency. The elimination of waste not only improves the bottom line but typically makes the general work atmosphere better for everyone. Better-organized tasks yield better results. But there are limits to this penchant for tighter organization that need to be respected.
The story goes that a particular efficiency expert closed his lecture to a group of employees with a warning. Dont attempt these task-organizing tips at home, he said. They only apply to the workplace.
One worker was intrigued. During the question-and-answer time, he raised his hand. Why shouldnt we apply these things at home? he asked.
With a bit of a blush on his face and some obvious discomfort with the question, he shuffled his feet and cleared his throat. My warning is rooted in my personal experience, he began. I did a study of my wifes routine for fixing breakfast. She made a lot of trips between the refrigerator and the stove, the table and the cabinets. And often she was carrying only one item.
Finally, I told her what I had discovered by applying my workplace skills to her methods. Honey, why dont you try carrying several things at once? was the only suggestion I gave her. It seemed to make a lot of sense to me.
Well, the questioner asked, did it work? Did it save time?
Yes, the expert said. It used to take her twenty minutes to get my breakfast. Now I know how to get my own in seven.
It seemed to make a lot of sense to me.
What about you? Did you ever discover that some tried-and-true methods of the office, factory, or store dont quite cut it at home? Families are built on relationships, not efficiency. Love and trust are the cement of those connections, not good management. And the same is true of healthy churches, for the role of their leaders is not to make them look more business-like but more Christ-like.
Your workplace may require you to schedule, regiment, and monitor others. The people you love most simply need to know how precious they are to you. If you understand that God has accepted you with all your foibles and flaws, you need to realize that you are imitating him when you grant that grace to others.
© 2000, Rubel Shelly. Used by permission. From Rubel Shelly's "FAX of Life" printed each Tuesday. See Faith Matters for previous issues of the "FAX of Life."