Monday, March 8, 2010

Answering the Call

Ring ring!  Ring ring!  Ring ring!

Tony Sturges was in the middle of reading a passage from Exodus 3:1-15 this morning at church. Moses had just encountered the flaming bush. Tony had just read, "When the Lord saw that he [Moses] had turned aside to see," when the cell phone started ringing. It wasn't a "ding a ling" kind of ring, more of an insistent "tech-y" sounding beep. Some readers would have ignored the ringing and forged ahead, trying to keep the parishioners focused. Not Tony. He stopped reading, and waited for the ringing to stop. My guess is that this choice was out of reverence for the word of God, not to embarrass the phone's owner. (Or maybe it was a reflex from years of teaching college and dealing with students' cell phones going off in the middle of lectures.) Whatever his reasoning was, it turned out to be divinely inspired, since the continuation of the sentence he was reading was, "God called to him out of the bush." It took Tony (and the rest of us) a while to stop laughing and to regain some semblance of Sunday morning attentiveness.

There are two other thoughts related to "God's call" that I want to share in today's blog.  The first has to do with yesterday's Thomasville Road Baptist Church 5K/10K, a race held every year to benefit the Florida Baptist Children's Homes.  Since my blog is still (occasionally!) about running and my quest to run a 5K in less than 30 minutes, here's a 2009 vs 2010 comparison:

2009 (5K) 41:28 (13.27 min. mile)  -  2010 (10K) 1:17:10 (12.27 min. mile)


The other thing I want to point out about the Thomasville Road Baptist Church has nothing to do with distances, splits, or routing (how is it possible that Tallahassee goes only uphill anyway??).  It has to do with our numbers, which are handed to us in this condition: 



Look closely at my number.  What do you see in each of the four corners?  While we all need a safety pin on each corner of our race number, only at the Thomasville Road Baptist Church race do the numbers come PRE-PINNED!!  When I got my pre-pinned number last year, I thought the pre-pinning was quaint.  This year I realized that the TRBC volunteers consistently do this.  It's an example of "customer service" that a lot of for-profit businesses could do well to take note of.  Yes, we can pin our own numbers on, but this one tiny touch of "let us make it a great day for you" is representative of an organization that wants to ensure everyone has a first-class experience.  According to Grea Bevis, the Race Director, this is a responsibility of the packet pick-up committee.  When a business (or church group) takes time to attend to little details like this, we customers notice and remember.  Nice job, TRBC.  I know you do this because you feel it is "part of your call" to serve God and community.  Next year, I'll "pin all my hopes" on racing with you again. 

While I am on the subject of things we feel "called" to do in life, especially when we feel God has a hand in it, for the second week in a row I am citing Seth Godin's thought-provoking blog.  Today, he talked about how so many huge corporate behemoths have gotten things turned around, putting the "factory, the infrastructure, the systems, the patents, the process, the manual" ahead of the "irreplaceable people, the linchpins, the ones that make a difference."  It is those irreplaceable, linchpin people who disperse a "call" throughout an organization, living out that organizational mission in every professional choice they make.

If you have personally lost sight of your "call," I encourage you to use this week to look for an opportunity find joy in going the extra mile, putting the "pins in the numbers" ahead of time, and helping a coworker or friend do the same.

I'll "run" into you next week, readers!






2 comments:

Answering Service said...

Great post on Answering the Call, Thanks for sharing.

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Susan Fields said...

Excellent point, Paula! I love the idea of "putting the pins on." Recently in my bible study class we talked about challenging our children to perform random acts of kindness. I meant to go home and talk with them about that, but somehow life's gotten in the way and we haven't had that discussion yet. This post reminds me how important it is for all of us to "put the pins on" for others. Congrats on your improved mile time!