I was flying home from a speaking engagement this past Sunday evening. On the last flight I sat next to a Basque man, a cowboy from North Texas, who had invented a special bit for training cutting horses. (How is that for a niche business?) We got into an Eternal conversation and I wrote the Plan on the back of an old calendar—complete with verses, arrows, stars, and stick figures. When I got all done, I asked him if he understood the Message. Yes, he did. I asked him if he would respond to the Offer. No, he did not want to do that because “In the scope of things I think I am a pretty good guy.” Truthfully, I used to think of myself that way. Today I have a starkly different view of myself. (“In the scope of things I would say I am a pretty bad guy.”) Obviously we in the company have a starkly different view of everyone in the world—that view is part of our motivation.
Years ago, (OK, decades ago) I was loading freight at night for a company here in Texas while I went to school in the daytime. One night one of my coworkers walked up to the dock foreman and said to him, “Where is Mark O’Neil?” The foreman said, “I don’t know where Mark is, but wherever he is, he is working.” Many men on our freight dock would take a self-designated break on company time by sneaking back into the break room, the restroom, or the back of a big trailer. They would then just kick back for half an hour. It happened all the time. But wherever Mark O’Neil was, he was working. He was a faithful man.
For a long time I have been struck by the need in our lives and in our work for “faithfulness.” It is required of a steward that one be found faithful—not handsome, not famous, not gifted, not wealthy, not entrepreneurial, not articulate, not funny, not brilliant, not experienced, not powerful, and not flashy. Faithful. I am expected to be the kind of person who does what he is told to do. I am expected to be where I should be and to be engaged in what I should be engaged in. I am expected to do what I said I would do. I am expected to be diligent about my duties and my opportunities.
Please be courageous and faithful in this new year.