I missed a client’s email, and I felt terrible about it. I’ll tell you the story:
One of the departments that my team supports requested training for a project that they were launching. I was assigned to the project and was tasked to create a training curriculum for our offshore partners and conduct training sessions for their training managers.
I did what was asked of me, and the Person of Contact (POC) for the project was pleased with the learning material and how the training was conducted.
After a week, the POC sent me an email requesting minor updates to the learning material that were sent to the offshore teams. They wanted to add a few statements to the learning objectives as required by the compliance team.
I missed the email. I was working on a new project that had a vast scope, and I got engrossed in it due to its urgency. I read multiple emails from the POC the following day, and the last email stated that he actioned the request of the compliance team.
Automatically, my mind thought about multiple reasons why I had no fault in the matter. I said to myself, “They can’t expect me to be available all the time. They should have cleared everything with compliance before they asked me to roll out the training. I have a huge project. They should have used other means to contact me if it was important.”
It was at that point when I heard the Holy Spirit tell me, “You’re not going to make things right by making excuses. Making mistakes is okay. You must deal with it. Coordinate with the POC and work out the best resolution.”
I sent an email to the POC right away and apologised that I missed his email. I asked if there’s anything else required for the project. The POC told me that he needed help distributing the updated materials to our offshore partners and I assisted him right away.
What could have happened if I chose to ignore the Holy Spirit’s instructions and focused on making excuses? The project would have been delayed if I didn’t coordinate with the POC right away.
Here’s what the Bible says about excuses,
New International Version (NIV)
A sluggard says, “There’s a lion in the road,
a fierce lion roaming the streets!”
Only sluggards make excuses. We should be better than sluggards and take ownership of our responsibilities. There is no problem with making mistakes because everyone makes them. Errors are not equivalent to failure. Mistakes could be comparable to the essential lessons being learned.
Let’s look at this story in the Bible:
New International Version (NIV)
16 Jesus replied: “A certain man was preparing a great banquet and invited many guests. 17 At the time of the banquet he sent his servant to tell those who had been invited, ‘Come, for everything is now ready.’
18 “But they all alike began to make excuses. The first said, ‘I have just bought a field, and I must go and see it. Please excuse me.’
19 “Another said, ‘I have just bought five yokes of oxen, and I’m on my way to try them out. Please excuse me.’
20 “Still another said, ‘I just got married, so I can’t come.’
21 “The servant came back and reported this to his master. Then the owner of the house became angry and ordered his servant, ‘Go out quickly into the streets and alleys of the town and bring in the poor, the crippled, the blind and the lame.’
22 “‘Sir,’ the servant said, ‘what you ordered has been done, but there is still room.’
23 “Then the master told his servant, ‘Go out to the roads and country lanes and compel them to come in, so that my house will be full. 24 I tell you, not one of those who were invited will get a taste of my banquet.’”
Did you notice anything in this story? These people provided legitimate reasons to miss the banquet. The first person bought a field which can relate to starting a business; the second person will try out the oxen he bought which can connect to going to work, and the last person got married which can relate to urgent family matters.
My take on this is that there will always be essential reasons that could cause us to miss our goals. If we still consider them on top of our purpose, then we will never accomplish our goal. We should find the right balance between what’s important, what’s urgent and how we can prioritise our activities so that we don’t drop the ball when it comes to the completion of God’s purpose.
The plans Jesus has for us is fantastic. We can be a part of something world-changing if we commit to God’s will. Like anything worth doing, it will come with challenges. Don’t give in to the thought that we have a good excuse to quit or to compromise. Don’t take the easy way out. Take ownership and see God’s plan through from start to finish.