The priority of starting right..

The start to 2022 (honestly I can’t even believe we are in a whole new year) has been hectic for us. We launched our business mid-December and we are starting feel like real business owners now – packaging sample boxes in our living room, turning our office into stacks of boxes, and making USPS drop off runs every day.

Story time – our launch went a little sideways. We were supposed to launch a month earlier (early Nov), but due to some food safety signoffs that got delayed, then some production issues, we ultimately got pushed to mid Dec. We had planned a trip to FL for the holidays (and that was non negotiable), so I was in the weird position of trying to figure out how to fulfill orders while on vacation.

Ultimately this led to me packing an entire suitcase of product that we took to FL with a shipping label printer and started fulfilling orders while on vacation. Not satisfied with that chaos, I was basically given feedback that required a complete ground up rewrite of my site and transition to a new website provider. All while I’m on “vacation”.

Now that we are back it feels even more manic if such a thing is possible. It is in this context that I heard Pastor Colin Smith talk about the rebuilding of Jerusalem.

The overwhelming pressure of “things to do”

Specifically at minute 48, he speaks about the people keeping the Feast of Booths upon their return. Now this was when they first arrived, the wall was broken down, the city was in ruins. The Pastor speaks of the people and how they must have been overwhelmed by the number of things to do.

But before all that, and in the face of an overwhelming set of tasks, the first thing they did, was to observe the feast of booths, a unique celebration of remembrance of the wandering of the Israelite people. Also known as the festival of Tabernacles, the Jewish people remember their wandering in the wilderness and celebrate God’s provision through that time by living in tents for a week. This is to remember how the people wandered in the desert living in tents.

Slow down and recenter

It seems odd that when the work is so urgent and pressing, the people took time off to worship. Yet, time and again, research shows us the truth of the old racing axiom :

Go slow to go fast

Anonymous Racer somewhere in the mists of time

I’ve heard that variously quoted as “Slow down to speed up” etc. The core notion is that in order to be more efficient, sometimes you need to slow down and take your time. Assess, reflect and recharge.

The same is true in our work lives. Going 110% for an extended period of time will ultimately just slow you down. A lot of things in life are counter intuitive – this is one of them. The more manic we become, the more we stress, the less effective we are. This is why having a good work life balance ultimately leads to more effective organizations, and why happy employees lead to better business outcomes.

Slow down this week

So we as a family have decided to dedicate some time at the beginning of this year, to fast and pray over some specific requests. In the face of all that needs to be done, it is even more critical that we recenter our lives, breathe, sink deeply into the love of God, and start the year re-energized. “In the face of all that is to be done, take time out to worship”.

I’d like to leave you with this song – its called “Wait on You” by Maverick City. It just resonates with me as I start this year.

And remember friends, go slow to go fast!

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