The Thanksgiving season is not a “big” deal when one lives outside of North America. The date comes and goes without a lot of fanfare; even the American Community School doesn’t recognize the day as a “full” holiday. This year is, for me at least, a bit different. The scope of what I have to be thankful for has expanded beyond family and friends to include a small but very significant step in our work team.
We started the year full of optimism. Yes, everyone knew there were stretch goals but the challenge and tasks we faced were clearly within our reach! In retrospect it is easy to realize just how little we knew about our subject matter. We had no idea that some of our team’s work ethic had evolved to a self-centric core. We could not dream that our team experts had feet of clay. We na?vely believed that we could improve the quality of the efforts of each puzzle piece.
In the course of this year every risk came true, each assumption proved to be false and strong links became fragile dependencies. Wisdom’s solution was simple in retrospect; “Work your garden—you’ll end up with plenty of food; play and party—you’ll end up with an empty plate.” (Proverbs 28.19)
What made the difference?
The focus of our efforts was the work in our garden – each doing everything they could to plant, nurture, and then harvest the garden.
The attention of our conversation was how we could work even better together – learning from yesterday, applying it to today, and living in hope for tomorrow.
Our defenses were up – always looking to deflect anything that might deter us from our goal. We were not always successful, yet we kept coming back to the garden and tasks at hand.
This week a new system went live. What makes me smile is not the celebration but the fact that I am part of a great family. It doesn’t have to end here – the Spirit is offering you and me an equal challenge with even greater rewards.