“I am ready to present. When is there time in your schedule?”
The invitation caught me by surprise. The work that I had asked him to do was complex and time consuming. I did not expect the analysis this quickly. Frankly, I wondered how he was able to get it done. How had he addressed the unknowns? Where had he found the data sources?
As I walked into the meeting room my interest was pushing me into a hyper state. The initial questions had multiplied. I wanted to know everything! I hoped that I could follow the logic.
“Take a seat.” I joined the two other managers sitting on the presentation. You could feel a shared anticipation growing around the table.
As I glanced at the graphs and analysis write-up, my mind started doing a dance between the past and present. What had I asked for? What was I looking at? Did they have anything to do with each other?
The eager analyst launched into his description of the materials we were looking at. I bit my lip, trying to be patient. I wanted to give him the benefit of my growing doubts, hoping that he would tie his remarks back to the assignment in a way I could not imagine.
When he came to the end of the first part of his analysis, I gently asked a question without looking up. “What does this have to do with the assignment I gave you?”
The pause lingered into an awkward moment of silence. I was still hoping for a positive answer so I let the moment grow.
“I did not understand the assignment, so I analyzed what I believed the problem to be and provided a recommendation.”
“Is there any relationship between your analysis and recommendation and the area I asked you to look at?”
“Not that I know of.”
Paraphrasing my response – “Since you’re so eager to participate in what God is doing, why don’t you concentrate on doing what helps everyone in the church?” (1 Corinthians 14.12) Time to reset and aim again.