This reminds me of my buddy Bob. Even though we were about the same age, still not 30, he seemed to have something that I didn’t. He had a faith that seemed as firm as a rock. His smile was contagious. He was confident as always held his head high. He knew what he wanted and it was a process. Once he had a process he feared ever straying.
Then there was me. The guy that operates where most consider to be “straying.” It’s not a always a happy place. However, this is how I’m made.
Bob and I met in 1997, when we were both working at a national company that installed data cabling systems into retail stores. We were project managers. One of us worshiped the structure and another preferred to shoot from the hip, There was an assortment of tools that I used to influence, coerce and intimidate. Looking backwards is sometimes difficult, but that’s not who I am today.
I left the company in 1998 and soon convinced my new employer, where I had taken a management role, to hire Bob. My mission has always been to surround myself with people that smarter/better than me. This was no exception.
That was until the day came that Bob was assigned to a customer that he didn’t want. It wasn’t the customer as much as it was the location. It involved a cross-town drive during the winter months in central Ohio. This particular winter didn’t make it any easier. When the end of Bob’s project came, he was “done!” according to him. My management and I needed the continued flow of revenue from his assignment.
Here’s the real problem. During the course of this painful project I had promised Bob that once the project was over, we wouldn’t ask to have his contract renewed. I just told him that to keep him quiet and continue to serve my needs. I didn’t consider how this would actually play out in the end. I was only considering my selfish needs.
Our relationship ended with my lie. That is until the day that I ran into Bob and his family. It was a time for me to “fall on my sword” and admit my faults. It had been 10 years since the incident and Bob had seemingly forgotten, I hope. He was kind and had forgiven me. It didn’t even seem to phase him.
Darn it! How did he do that? It was amazing the peace and grace that he spoke with. Oh, I see. I started to type this post so I could tell you how I had overcome relational differences. This has become a story about Bob showed me how to overcome differences.
He didn’t let the Blame, that he had every right to give me, get in the way of forgiveness. You see he wanted to have HOPE for the future. He couldn’t have that if Blame stood in his way.