Monday, July 21, 2008

Opportunity for Greatness!

On my job as Timekeeping Project Manager for a national facilities services company the opportunity to work with some of the nation’s leading retail companies surfaces several times each year. Our employee, payroll and timekeeping records are audited by the companies we service. It is important to the companies we service that we are compliant with national and state laws regarding employment and labor procedures. What we do, or do not do could result in a blemish on their standing.

In 2007 a major facilities services company was audited and found to be employing individuals on the Homeland Security watch list who were working in state and federal buildings. This company was obviously failing to do the required background checks.

One of the most recent audits I participated in was with a very well known national chain, Target. To be honest the audit process was tedious, stressful and extremely time consuming. The company executing the audit was thorough. During the wrap up conference call between my company, the auditors, and Target we sat on pins and needles as our errors were brought to light. There weren’t hundreds, but we were far from flawless. We left that meeting with a promise of a final call after the final report was submitted to Target.

The final call was only Target and my company. Sitting in for my company was me, my boss, HR representation, the Operations VP and administrative support personnel for Ops, and our CEO. Again, we were nervous, hoping that we would not be put through the ringer.

As the Target officials began, she thanked us for complying with the audit process. Then she simply said, “The final report shows about three opportunities for improvement.” She then went on and briefly touched on each “Opportunity”. Every word was building, encouraging, expectant. Our “team” sat waiting for the “other shoe to drop” so to speak. When would she rake us over the coals?! However, the call ended by the Target official providing some contacts that could provide helpful insight in our efforts. We sat speechless. We indeed saw the “light!” We’d been given a reprieve, an OPPORTUNITY to step up and reclaim our standing.

After that call I had a newly developed respect for the way Target handled the situation. Instead of brow beating and criticizing, they provided us with “opportunity to achieve greatness.” The only brow beating had been the one we had given ourselves!

As I pondered that thought, I received a powerful revelation! God has provided us with opportunity to achieve greatness. He has given us His Word and the Holy Spirit to facilitate the implementation of that opportunity in our lives. Even we He "audits us," He isn’t looking for a deal breaker. He is just looking for areas of opportunity that will propel us toward achieving the greatness He has placed inside of us. he believes in us! he knows what we are capable of!

A great example of this topic is Samson. That guy had it all and he made a serious mistake. He paid dearly too. However, at the height of his humiliation, instead of beating himself up, he found opportunity for the greatness God placed in him to be manifested for the glory of God.

And just as my company became our own worst critic, we too do that as well. When we look at the audit report and see all of our flaws and blemishes, many times we beat ourselves up. It isn’t God, or even the enemy doing the beating, it is “us.”

Perhaps we should take a cue from Target and do a “spiritual audit” of those we associate with or the activities we partake in. We should ask ourselves, “Are there people, activities, habits and works associated with my life that blemish my character?” "Do the people I hang with, the things I do, places I go, etc,. blemish my testimony?"

In Psalm 51, David conducted a self-audit. I love the way the chapter reads in The Message translation. In verses 1-3, he says, 1-3 “Generous in love—God, give grace! Huge in mercy—wipe out my bad record. Scrub away my guilt, soak out my sins in your laundry. I know how bad I've been; my sins are staring me down.” David knew he messed up big time but he also knew the redeeming love and grace of God! In verse 10 he says, “God, make a fresh start in me, shape a Genesis week from the chaos of my life.” I LOVE THAT!!!!!! If that isn’t redemption, I don’t know what is! What an opportunity to propel forward into greatness!

In closing, let me encourage you. The next time you are in the midst of a “spiritual audit” don’t beat yourself up, instead look for “opportunities” that will propel you into the greatness God has called you to! Pray that prayer David prayed, “God, make a fresh start in me! Shape a Genesis week from the chaos in my life!” Then run with the opportunity that He gives you! Don’t look back! Propel yourself full speed ahead into manifesting the greatness He placed inside of you!


Deanna Shrodes said...

i needed this so much today.

thank you

love you


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Kay Martin said...

Great post. How many opportunities do each of us have for others when things go wrong? I hope that I can always know that God has a way to use all things for His glory to honor people and turn things around for good.

Love your blog. I have been blessed while here.