Which is more important? To have a Director of Food Service/Chef who provides excellent food, meal after meal, or a man who builds godly young men?
This is not a theoretical question! Twice Deerfooters who became Directors of Christian camps have asked how I feel about their keeping maintenance men who know the facility but not Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord.
At Deerfoot Lodge every staff member has two jobs. One is doing the work of his job description. The other? Building godly young men. The excellence of the how the Camp Director leads the camp and the consistency of his Christian living should encourage the Facility Manager to improve the quality of his work and the excellence of his Christian living, which should encourage these things in those who work for him.
Setting our hearts and minds to being godly men may greatly reduce our sinfulness, but we will continue to sin. This being true, part of living the Christian life is acknowledging our sin before God, and before the people we have wronged.
One summer I decided campers and staff might find life easier if there was less caffeine available, particularly in the form of Coca-Cola. This decision turned out to be much harder on the staff than on the campers. Wazi and others questioned the wisdom of my decision, but, chain-of-command – they would live with my decision.
Shortly thereafter Wazican asked if he could have a few minutes with me. I could tell he was upset about something. When we were alone he told me he had been hiding Cokes in the walk-in cooler. He knew this was wrong, said he would get rid of the Cokes immediately, and asked my forgiveness.
The kitchen staff knew Wazican was hiding the Cokes in the cooler. They learned how Wazican came to me and admitted his deception. Wazican was God’s man – and his words and his actions spoke the same truth. One evening each week, after the dishes, pots, and the kitchen were cleaned, the kitchen staff would get together around the fire-pit at Wazican’s cabin. It was easy for Wazican to move from daily living to Christian living, as for the Christian, these are the same. The kitchen staff experienced Christian community at the kitchen level, and they experienced the larger Christian community which is Deerfoot Lodge. Community encourages our right relationship with God and men.
(My decision did not seem to produce any good results! Bad Idea! Coca Cola came back!)
Wazican has probably forgotten the Cokes in the cooler. I have not, for his example of integrity has challenged me to be a man of integrity – many times.
My guess is that we have forgotten the many times we have done what is right. How we work and live does affect others.
A few weeks ago I was on the playground at our grandson’s school. As we walked across the grass playing field he found a pencil, picked it up and ran with it to the leader of the after-school program.
Which is more important? Our job description work or our building godly young men? Both are essential!
How we do our work is obvious. May how we live our lives be only the tip of the iceberg of how we live In Partnership With God.