Thursday, October 3, 2013

Calling In The Expert

Like most people in this world, I firmly believe that I know how to do my job.  I believe that I am the most qualified and the best equipped for it.  I believe that no one can do it as well as I can.  But, not really.

I do know a lot about raising cattle.  I have built my career around the cattle industry.  I have probably been to more seminars and producer meetings than most beef cattle specialists.  I feel confident that I know what applies to my operation and what doesn't.  I have a small commercial cow/calf operation.  It isn't stocker calves.  It isn't seedstock.  It isn't bucking bulls or anything else so specialized.  I have cows from which I expect a calf every year so that I can pay the bills and build some equity.

But, just like everyone else that has a business -- and I treat my cattle operation like a business -- there are things that I walk by every day that I just accept because I am not really paying that close of attention.  It is wise to bring in a set of outside eyes to take a look occasionally.  Not only do they see the things we take for granted that are important, they also help us to prioritize how we invest our time and capital.  Experience has taught me that it is better to pay a little extra to get it right the first time than to have to do something over again.

I brought in a Nutritionist today.  We spent some time talking and then we talked some more as we looked over my operation.  At the end of the day I felt pretty good about what I had accomplished.  But, there is room for improvement.  He told me that I am already doing better than about 90% of his clients.  That was positive.  The problem is that last 10%.  That's the part that will take me from being just a good operator to being exceptional.  My goal is to be in that top 1%.

Why is that important?  Why do I want to be in the top 1% rather than just above average?  I think it comes down to the way God intends for us to live as Christians.  Good enough just isn't good enough.  We are called to be the best.  We are called to seek each day to live as Jesus would.  I know without a doubt that perfection is not in me, but, I believe I can do better than I currently do.

Calling in the expert on nutrition for my cattle is an investment.  Nutritionists charge for their services.  Calling on Jesus for my personal life is expensive too.  It requires surrender of my self.  But, the phone call is free.  It's a matter of daily -- no, constant -- contact with Him.  It's called prayer.  Yeah, it works.  I know for a fact it has worked in my life so many times that I can't begin to keep up with it.

I don't think I'm anywhere near that top 10% of "Christians", but hopefully I am getting better on a daily basis.

24 However, I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace.  Acts 20:24

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