With this past weekend being youth turkey season I am reminded of this incredible moment I shared with my 9 year old from a few years ago.
I am writing this to encourage leaders who find themselves in a season of craziness to fight for the opportunity to create memorable moments. These are the things you will remember decades from now while most losses you have in business will be a faint memory.
The context behind the scenes leading up to this day was crazy. My business was nuts! I was in the middle of some significant business struggles. Struggles that would eventually lead to the demise of a team and the loss of some incredible people that I adored leading and working alongside.
All the while juggling being a Father to 4 children and being the Dad I always said I would be. Now looking back the “business thing” seems much smaller as God showed himself faithful in ways I couldn’t have imagined. I would add that He always does!
2 Timothy 2:13 “If we are faithless, he remains faithful.”
One thing I remember (and which I am glad I didn’t let slide) in all of that was the 3:30 A.M. alarm clock the morning of this hunt. Hunting when you are teaching a youngster requires A LOT!
Getting all the gear together, packing a separate backpack, making sure you have the right snacks, ensuring last years boots still fit (and they never do with kids), running out to grab new boots the night before, purchasing your tags, spending an hour practicing shooting setups, and on and on and on. Throw in the late night prepping AND the early morning alarm clock and it can feel like setting up the adventure is too much. Needless to say, when you have behind the scenes stuff going on as a leader, it’s easy to let opportunities to create “moments” with our kids be considered extra because they require enormous amounts of energy.
Now removed from this picture a few years I still take the time to reminisce with G-man, and it always brings a smile to our faces. It’s one of the priceless moments we will remember forever. We had hunted all day and had plenty of opportunities on some mature Toms, but none worked out. Meaning the boys were always moving too much or too quick to shoot. As evening came and started to pass it appeared we wouldn’t have a chance to fill their tags. On a whim, I pulled up our decoys, and we sprinted 300 yards to a different location to get set up as last shooting light was approaching quickly. Within seconds of getting set up, a group of 25+ turkeys appeared and began working their way to our set up. I was able to call them to within 7 yards just 10 minutes before last shooting light. The boys competed the magical moment by completing their shots. As much as they were excited I do believe as Dads we were even more excited! As light was fading, I hustled the boys around to get a quick picture before it was too dark and thus the included photo documenting the moment.
I hold that day dearly as G-man grows and matures from a boy into a young man. I am thankful God gave me the strength that morning to say yes when the alarm clock went off. It’s a moment of perspective. That perspective is that family matters more!
It matters more than my business, more than my self-centered agenda, more than anything else I choose to pursue all while keeping in context that God matters most.
When you identify your values clearly you have a decision compass which strengthens you when you are weak. It gives clarity to what matters most. As tired as I was the morning of this hunt, spending time with G-man mattered more than sleep and more than any issue inside my business.
I point back to this moment knowing it only happened because I had predetermined that family matters more.
I encourage you to define your value system and to put it into writing. If you do this, you give yourself a compass of sorts. Something to turn to that aids in the determining of how you will respond in moments of crisis, in moments of weariness, and in moments of confusion.
Your future you will thank you for taking the time to do this. Future memories depend on it!