I don’t know if you have noticed that the hardware store Home Depot has made some wonderful changes over this past year. I remember a while back that though they had great prices their service was awful. There seemed to be many employees walking around donned in their signature orange smocks, but why was it the isle I went down they scattered. I would get so frustrated. One time I even yelled out “Help me, can anyone help me.” Still no one came, yet a fellow customer at the end of the isle looked strange at me and backed away. When I finally found someone I asked my question and I got, “that’s not my department,” or “it’s over there,” or simply, “I don’t know,” and was left to travel through the maze of tall isles alone and unguided. I was left with the impression that I was bothering them or I was lucky to enter their store and it was a privilege to shop there. No one was really taking any responsibility to help the customer, so I left to find a place where I could get the help I needed.
Yet Home Depot has changed!! It is even a pleasurable shopping experience. You are greeted by nice people who ask if you need any help, there are ample employees roaming the store asking if you need anything and when you do, they not only tell you where things are, they walk you right to the isle! Now this has happened numerous times for me. I finally asked someone what changed. They said “it’s my responsibility to help you with your needs and stick with you until you find what you are looking for.” Now that’s service!
What struck me is that before there were a lot of excuses as to why there was no real customer service, yet now employees are taking responsibility to do a good job. Sure, no store is perfect and people can have that ‘bad experience,’ but it was interesting how their moving from blame to taking responsibility made a huge difference. As I have been pondering this I am wondering if that same thing happens in living God’s unique call on our lives?
We know God has great plans for us (Jeremiah 29:11) and has called us to fulfill His purposes (Matthew 22:36-40, 28:19-20). God has uniquely designed us (Psalm 139) and placed us in a unique location (Act 17:26-27) to be about His unique call on our lives…being salt and light (Matthew 5), being an influence to help people, love people, be kind to people and show people what Jesus is like, yet it takes owning this and doing something about it to make it happen.
This unique path God has us on is not some moving sidewalk where we just jump on, and with no effort, or want, or ownership, or responsibility ride on and fulfill God’s call. God does give us direction from the Bible, as well He gives us those inklings to help out, those ‘ought to’ we feel. You know, we look at a situation and think; ‘this ought to be different’, ‘this ought to be done.’ As well, God gives us His Holy Spirit to apply His Word to guide each step of the way. HOWEVER, it’s taking on the responsibility to take action; the ownership and effort to see God’s call fulfilled. Will you take on that responsibility?
As God challenged Joshua, He challenges us…
Joshua 1:9 9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.”
So don’t live in the environment of excuses. Take responsibility for the life God has given you and courageously move on.
Grace and Peace,