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The Most Valuable Lessons Learned at 54º

August 22, 2012

Posted in: Performance, Place

coffee in the cool morning 54 degrees

On many of my early mornings, I take my coffee outside. I read some scripture, I pray, I think, I plan before I get my day up and running.

This morning’s temperature was a fabulous cool 54 degrees, and it’s still August. Just a little over two weeks ago the temperatures were scorching – scrapping such numbers as 102 – 104 degrees and it seemed as though that season would never, ever end. Every day it was the same, intense, merciless pressure. The sun’s relentless intensity incinerated any hope or joy of pleasant summer mornings, let alone afternoons or evenings.

But this morning, even though it’s only a few weeks past, I can barely remember that awful, hot season. If you’re doing the same thing that I am or grabbing your latte at the drive thru, reaching through the cool morning air to grab your brew, think on this as you head into your day.

I think God wires us to forget. And we would be wise if we could remember the truth that we’ll soon forget seasons past. Even this morning, I can’t fully draw on that feeling of fatigue, that listless discouragement I was experiencing just those few weeks ago. The days when I would leave the office and opened what felt like the back door to hell hold less power in my memory on this sweet, cool morning.

The other part of the lesson is that I don’t even think about the temperature after I’ve had a couple weeks of 54 degrees – I take it for granted. I thoughtlessly go through my morning as if I were entitled to this perfect temperature. Think about it: I would bet that you don’t consciously give second thought to a day when the average temp is where you are most comfortable do you? You only think about it when it’s not comfortable. And that’s what we need to remember when we’re having a bad day or a bad week, or an intense season that we can’t wait to end.

My point is that there are things that are really good that we are forgetting to notice all around us. When our season is good, we take it for granted. When our work, our meetings, our relationships are like my 54 degree morning, we can keep running. But when we come into those moments, where the relationship with the client or the spouse gets uncomfortable, we only focus on that which we don’t like or where we don’t agree. But even in that moment, there are things that we are overlooking – areas that we are aligned. We’re not remembering those good things, the shared passion, the vision we’re striving for, the long-range objectives.

If we spent even just a few moments remembering that even though it may be hot right now, there is going to be better days that are ahead that will be like my 54-degree morning. And when that season arrives the intensity we’re experiencing now will be fading like a distant memory. Don’t perform in the heat of the moment that you’ll regret later. Even the worst enemies have found themselves to be friends in another season. Don’t overlook the things that are good right now. Focus on the issues and the ideas that stimulate gratitude first, then keep that in mind as you toil.

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