Our Camp Director at AC, Matt loves camp and loves people – but how do we prioritize the two? Below is a message from him talk on what he has learned about living into our value People Over Projects. This is the second in a series where we will be sharing how we at CPM live into our six core values. To read the first article, click here.
People over projects
People over projects. It sounds like a very simple premise. Of course, actual living feeling people are more important than most any task! Tasks will pass away after this life but people’s hearts are forever with their gifts and fears and ideas and challenges and complexity. But yet I find that it is still easy to miss, misread, or speed past a person’s heart much more frequently than I hope I would.
In my first winter at AC we experienced one of those days where multiple things were happening at the same time. Guests, staff, and physical tasks all validly striving for my attention in the same moments. My response to the demand was to choose plowing snow as I knew that I would be able to achieve this needed task in the time I had available. Better to do something I know will be a win versus something I may or may not do well in the time I had. It even seemed like the most unsung, servant hearted thing to do. And the staff seemed like they know what they are doing. Sensible. Right? I was later informed in a bold but loving way by a disappointed staff that the “best” choice was not the best choice. They had felt abandoned. They needed my support in that moment. I chose to do the task instead of listen long enough to understand.
That situation resolved in some great conversations and deepened relationships. But the issues connected to it have stayed in my mind. This is not the first time I missed the indicators. Here are a few thoughts that I have had about myself. I’m sure this list is different from person to person but I hope it helps jog folks own thinking. A passage that has led me these observations is Luke 10:38-42
- I am able to trust God to watch over the tasks while I prioritize the people God has appointed for me to be with. I will never get every job I think of done. God still controls the earth. He can be trusted if I don’t finish something. He has entrusted me with being in people’s lives. It has felt like a risk to let Him hold things together but I have learned a lot by “letting” Him watch my back while I treat people with the care He has asked me to.
- I can train my heart to see other hearts. I often spend a lot of time on me. Most of it good. Improving or trying to learn more about being who I should be, etc. But the ability to see beyond myself is a skill I can and need to practice. Even good things can obscure a heart.
- I recognize that if the tasks that prepare for people keep me too busy, I may fail to see what those people need. If getting there is the whole mission, I may lose the chance to make use of the opportunity the work has made.
- I can’t fear failing in people’s view of my productivity. I can often think I’m not doing enough and try to do more. If this blinds me, I will miss important moments.
- I’m a people too. Scripture asks us to be willing to do hard things and suffer at times. It also asks us to obey. This can involve sacrifice at times. But I have been learning that my own heart’s needs is a people worth listening too. I find that if I do this I actually am learning how to be with another person’s heart. My familiarity with my pains and true thoughts enable me to listen well.
I pray I am not done learning how to let the Holy Spirit help me choose the best priorities.