Friday, June 16, 2006

Focus on Your Side

I was driving down the road with a friend of mine and I came to a tight squeeze. I have a small pickup and I have been driving it for over 3 years so I know the size hole I can fit it through. I simply looked at my left-side rear view mirror and got it as close to the neighboring car as possible and drove through the narrow gap between the cars. My friend quickly leaned towards me letting out a “whoa!” thinking that I was going to take off his door with how close I was to the neighboring car. “That was close!” he exclaimed. I just smiled.

For a long summer I drove a semi tractor and trailer from Michigan to Florida. My loads were everything from alfalfa hay and bags of feed to sweet corn and watermelons. The only time I was nervous was when I would approach a construction zone where there would be cement dividers narrowing the road to what seemed like a few inches of leeway on each side of my truck. Even at 45 mph it seemed like I had little room for error. I kept telling myself to “focus on your side … focus on your side.” So I only looked on the left and never looked to my right side mirror. If I kept my side as close as I could I knew the other would take care of itself. When the road was wide I could afford to look around and enjoy the trip but under pressure I had to go back to focusing on my side.

As a manager of a Shipping department I found myself saying the same thing to my employees. “Just focus on YOUR side” don’t worry about what the others are doing. I would hear complaint after complaint from employees about other employees or people in other departments especially when the pressure was on and people were worried about their jobs but I wouldn’t listen to them. Focus on your side and the other will take care of itself.

Scripture tells us not to worry about the speck in our neighbor’s eye until we remove the plank in our own eyes. It seems especially when the pressure is on and the gap is narrow that we tend to focus on the wrong side while we should be focusing on OUR side.

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