For those of you who are wondering what I am talking about, a synopsis: my business venture in Ghana became untenable due to unanticipated market conditions (we weren't going to make any money on it). Therefore, I have shifted my focus onto my second idea (Project 2 in my Twitterfeed), which is a publishing house: TM Publishing, LLC. We open for business officially before the end of htis month, and hopefully within the next week. The website still needs work, which is all that prevents us from accepting manuscripts; when I have something professional prepared, I will post a link here.
In this whirlwind of activity - amidst interviews with employees and potential employees, meetings with bankers and government officials, and all the other activities necessary to create a publishing house - I have by far most enjoyed three events only peripheral to my commercial work.
First was an evening spent with family. I had come from another meeting where I behaved much as I often have before - somewhat garrulous, comical but not careful - but not as I would prefer to be. Spending the evening just talking with family members helped me come back to the path of the person I am trying to, and feel God would have me, be. It was edifying.
The second was a corporate meeting, actually, though the corporate aspect of it was not particularly important. What made the interaction so positive and uplifting was that I was starting a professional friendship. The meeting was with my banker, it is true, but, as he is to be my primary contact with the bank and we are to interact often over the life of this business, I felt comfortable getting to know him as a person. As a result, our interaction was human, rather than bureaucratic. I would not invite this gentleman over for social events, of course - ours is a professional relationship. Even so, it was gratifying to develop a friendly professional relationship, rather than simply experience professional interaction. I intend to imitate that example, actually - I have been tempted, as this company has formed, to become increasingly distant in order to appear "professional." I am very glad to know that such is not necessary. One can be human and professional too.
Finally, and best of all, was a conversation with a dear friend whom I greatly respect and admire. Our interaction is, and has nearly always been, very uplifting; I am very grateful the Lord has continued to put us in each other's paths. Without His divine intervention, I believe I would have lost contact with this person several years ago, or one of several times thereafter.
Perhaps these events all seem small to you, and maybe they were. To me, they were an answer to prayer and an imporant reminder that God does lead us in green pastures, that He restores our souls, and that "surely goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever" (Psalm 23).
Importantly, these interactions all came on the same day, the only day this week when I have not worked for more than eleven hours on a project. I intend to get a full-time job soon in addition to my entrepreneurial and authorial activities; I expect to work twelve hour days consistently for some time into the future. Even so, as I was reminded in the course of these experiences, it is the people, not the work, that satisfies. Relationships are what make life worthwhile.
I work to accomplish things I feel the Lord expects of me; it was at His prompting that I began to explore opportunities in publishing. These three experiences, though, were a divine reminder that in the course of my work, I need to prioritize those people I love. Twleve hour days are still appropriate and expected, especially for the next period of my life, but the rest of my time, I feel, should be devoted to people. There is no time to waste on things that are not of value; every moment spent in idleness is a moment spent not strengthening one of the relationships that make life worthwhile.
And, as that day demonstrated, relationships -families, friendships, even positive professional interaction, are deeply satisfying, a great contributor to happiness, and a wonderful blessing.