Good morning from the Meads! The morning air has a fresh scent today as the gentle breezes enter the front door. Early morning carries with it moderate temperatures and a pleasing quiet. As the day goes on, the noise level rises with the sun, and the temperatures follow along. We are in the “hotter” season here in Davao. Rain has been infrequent, leaving areas of dust swirling in the wind. Air conditioning is well appreciated. The daily blackouts (loss of electricity) have been a nuisance. People appear to enter the malls to escape the heat more than to shop.
Tebow CURE Hospital is in a stage of deepening complexity. The first year, we focused on getting open, team building, and forming relationships to build a reputation. Children received the emotional, spiritual, and physical care characteristic of all CURE hospitals. The first year flew by with many goals reached. Opening is a scary time as many firsts must be conquered.
Now in the growth process, we will build some more complexity into the hospital. Basic committees will divide and seek in-depth studies of our process. What are we doing well? What needs improvement? What can we do to improve efficiency? Are there ways to reduce our costs yet maintain quality of care?
Tebow CURE Hospital will develop better patient and family educational materials to empower our patients. Our Tebow CURE Hospital staff will grow deeper in their faith through directed studies. Time to study options will lead to decisions where the Tebow CURE Hospital can best establish outreach clinics. Educational opportunities are being created for the growth and development of the CURE staff. Add on the plans for development outlined by the CURE International network, and you find your plate full.
That brings me back to my favorite words: Start with “Why.” As life attempts to bury you in the details of daily work, you need to stop. In fact, you need to consciously make a decision to stop. If you do not you will risk all. You could be running hard and striving for the finish but on the wrong road. You could end your life as a picture on the wall no one looks at, unknown and unloved by your family. You can proudly show all the shiny books, the flashy documents, and the glowing year-end reports, but if they fail to support and shout out the “why,” you will fall.
For me, my why is all about the kids. I was called to leave my comfortable west Michigan life to come and serve. I was selected to become a member of a medical-spiritual team providing care for children with physical disabilities. Sure, I fill out too many forms. I seek out donations of money, time, and resources. I give talks sharing the work of CURE. I attend meetings in person and via videoconference. I take time to meet with potential partners. I assist people in need that are not clearly children. I am a husband, a dad, and now a grandpa. All actions seek out my time. As each opportunity arises, we must place it through the filter. Why does the Tebow CURE Hospital exist? We are here to care emotionally, spiritually, and physically for the physically disabled child of the Philippines. We are an intentionally merged medical-spiritual orthopedic hospital for children.
Will these opportunities help to better care for more children? Then let’s proceed. Will saying yes to this opportunity mean saying no to some kids? Then we better let someone else pursue the need. The major difficulty arises from the fact that most often these other opportunities are good things to do. They are needed. People would be helped. But they do not address “why” we exist. If our vision was given to us to care for children with disabilities, then we must say no to the good so we can actively pursue the very best.
I am quite passionate of keeping the vision in front of all of us. I have seen great ministries and businesses fail as they lose the “why” they exist. Does everyone in your organization understand the why? Have you personally taken time to consider the why in your life? Many people burnout or fail to find happiness due to this ambiguity. As long as you breathe it is not too late. Anyone who is among the living has hope—even a live dog is better off than a dead lion! Ecclesiastes 9:4
As a Christian there is also the “who.” Who are you working for? Who is in charge? Are your actions based on bringing you glory or pointing others to the One in charge? Decisions need to pass through this filter as well. My life priorities start with God, then Jana my wife, next my children, and now grandchild, the kids I serve, and everything else. Will saying yes to this opportunity mean saying no to one of these? I have learned the hard way saying yes is all too easy in the short run but comes with many long term consequences.
Decisions become easier if you clearly know whose you are and why you do what you do. Will you miss some “good” opportunities? Probably. But as an old wise king wrote: “It is not good to have zeal without knowledge, nor to be hasty and miss the way.” Proverbs 19:2
We all have gifts, time, and talents that have limits. We need to invest these wisely. We need not settle for the merely good but reach out in faith for the truly great! We travel this road together in His grip.