I recently heard a radio message about the importance of the process on the way to the end goal.
It reminded me of a time I was the captain of a volleyball team in the company league and one of the players came to me after 4 or 5 games and told me she was quitting because I was too competitive and it was no fun for her. She was right; I was competitive but I thought the point of playing sports was to win. We may have won the game but I lost the person in the process.
Then there was the time I had a flash of brilliance right before an event I was planning and came into the office excited about my new idea – which we had about 1 hour to pull off. My staff dutifully set about getting the task done that I just thought would be perfect. It put them under a lot of stress and honestly in the end it wasn’t that brilliant.
As I rushed into the kick off meeting about 15 minutes before we were starting, I stopped dead in my tracks because Robert Hayes was already playing the piano; the song I heard when I entered was: “Here I am to Worship” by Tim Hughes – the words rung in my ears:
Here I am to worship
Here I am to bow down
Here I am to say that you’re my God
I had an “oh, yeah” moment. I had lost sight of the grander purpose of my mission. It was not about the details that caused last minute stress for the team. It was not about having the perfect workbook or the perfect schedule, etc. It really was more about Who we look to in worship, the only One worthy of our worship.
In that moment, a peace came over me that sent all the strain skittering away. In that instant all became well with my soul.
Many years ago I was asked to join the church leadership team for a three day strategic planning meeting. I remember the man we brought in to lead the meeting told us, “At the end of 3 days we will have a strategic plan for your church. That is our end goal. But more important than reaching our goal is HOW we get there. How we interact, how we care for one another, how we love during these three days.” I have never forgotten that.
Paul tells us in Romans – Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. 12:10
Paul tells us in Philippians – Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. 2:3
Paul tells us in Corinthians – If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing. 13:1-3
If you will allow me the latitude to customize 1 Corinthians 13:1-3 – I believe it brings this point home:
If I keep my house clean, make delicious meals, and greet my neighbors when I see them, but have not love, I am like an inexperienced person screeching the bow across violin strings. And if I read my Bible and pray every day, send notes to those that are sick, give to the poor and help stock the food bank but have not love, I am nothing. If I make meals for new moms, drive the car pool, serve with the youth group and am part of the worship team but have not love, I gain nothing.
It is not just that we get from point A to point B but how we get from point A to point B that catches God’s eye. The process matters. People matter. Love matters. Attitudes matter.
Diane Hunt serves on the board of America’s Keswick and provides ministry support from her home in North Carolina. She is also a biblical counselor and women’s event speaker. For more information about having Diane speak at your next event please contact her at email@example.com.
Think About This: “Christ died to save us, not from suffering, but from ourselves; not from injustice, far less than justice, but from being unjust. He died that we might live—but live as he lives, by dying as he died who died to himself.” -George Macdonald (1824-1905)