In the Midst of COVID-19, The Seed of An Equal or Greater Opportunity
I can’t say it’s always been easy and yet I do believe at the heart of every challenge is the seed of an equal or greater opportunity. The Coronavirus Pandemic is certainly providing for a significant number of challenges for us, if not downright tragedies. Many times it’s hard to see past the challenges to find the opportunity.
In this case, I see a significant one.
In the Bible in the book of Matthew, Chapter 22, verses 37-40, it says this:
37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”
I’ve taken this literally for as long as I can remember. That’s why I named my company, Outward Focus, over a quarter-century ago. We were created to serve God and others, that’s it. When we make God the most important person in our life and then fulfill our mission on this planet by serving others first that’s when we are truly succeeding. If I had to pick the single biggest challenge we face in our businesses today it’s that too many times we make business about serving ourselves first. We want to feel more powerful, more approved, more comfortable, or more in control. When we don’t, that’s when we turn inward, get selfish, and make it all about us.
That’s why it doesn’t work. Sure you can pursue power, approval, comfort, and control but they are evil taskmasters. Why? Because all they are are empty promises. You will never have enough and in the pursuit of these “idols”, we violate “The Second Great Commandment” to ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ Putting a “window dressing’ on it doesn’t help. Even if you do the right thing for others but for self-serving reasons, it looks good from the outside but ultimately the truth will come out. No “good” fruit will be produced.
Producing “Good” Fruit
One of the really special things that are coming out of going through this Pandemic together is all the love that is on display and the acts of sacrifice that are being made in the service of others. Donations being made to pay those who became unemployed. Medical masks and ventilators being made by companies, groups, and individuals throughout the country. People everywhere practicing social distancing. As a nation, we’ve been asked to stay home just so we can hopefully save someone else’s life...It’s incredible! Our entire country, the USA, has come to a halt in order to save lives and get through this together.
Isn’t that the opportunity? We’re going to get through this! Let’s take these sacrifices, the willingness to serve others, LOVE, and let’s carry them forward into every aspect of our lives. Our families, our friends, our businesses, organizations, clubs, and associations. Let’s make it forever and always about loving and serving others first.
The Opportunity for Our Collective Future
God has allowed this for His reasons. I believe an appropriate response is to reflect on where we stood as a nation just 6 weeks ago. We were divided, struggling, and wanting to protect only ourselves. The enemy of our souls clearly had us in his grip. Today we’re on the path to becoming what we are as a nation, as a diverse people are capable of becoming.
Let’s not miss this opportunity. Make no mistake. The self-serving, inwardly-focused, fear mongers are still out there and they still want to find a way to manipulate and control us. Let’s not let them do that. We know the truth. The truth is that we are here to love God and love others, that’s it. It’s simple, not easy, but absolutely worth it.