Today’s commute is crossing the hall or going down the stairs. A long commute, in this season, is out to the RV. The proximity to engage with work has wrecked rhythms and made boundaries blurry.
As I met with dozens of business leaders this last week in C3 Forums, phone calls and Zoom meetings, this was a common theme. The result of these blurred lines has had an impact. This has especially been true for faith-filled business leaders who desire a life centered in Christ. What has been sacrificed? Study of the Bible. Time in prayer. Daily connection to the Lord.
Instead of having a rhythm that includes time in these spiritual disciplines, today’s leader is going from pajama-clad in the bed to pajama-clad (at least bottoms) at the home office.
The emergency status at the start of this pandemic, seemed to necessitate this kind of living. Business leaders coasted on storehouse connection. Four to five weeks into this season, the lack of regular connection is starting to show. And it’s starting to show first to spouses…and the business leader is hearing about it.
There is a need for space and health and their spouse is reminding their business-leading partner. Most spouses are wired toward different outcomes in a day. An result of the last two weeks is that I have heard a tendency to lean upon the gifts of spouses. Business leaders are listening to what they have to say and learning to operate differently. They are guided by the input they are receiving. Space was given to handle the emergency, but now it is time to find a sustainable tempo.
This is not only resulting in enhanced spiritual discipline, but also in prioritized time for relationships. People are innovating to connect and celebrate. There was a 21st birthday where the parents invited friends and family to drive and park outside their home. The 21-year old son sat on the front porch with a beer and the parents would safely bring a small cup of beer to those parked in front of the house. Therefore, they could have a celebratory first beer with the birthday boy.
It is also activities at the house. The latest item to not be on the shelves is flour. People are baking again. I’m hearing about puzzles being made and on-line games happening among friends and family.
While we may be in this plateau of normal, there still is fear about the economy. A regular prayer request is against fear. One business leader likened it to Christmas in that it is both exciting and scary. As a faith-filled person there is a belief that God has a good gift for us through this crisis. At the same time, we don’t know what that gift is going to be. Remember that as a kid. Will it be what I wanted?
Among business leaders, there is still a lot of talk about PPP and various banks. There are a few banks that have not done the PPP well for their clients. Those banks are openly talked about in discussions. Some companies did not get in the first round. Other companies are waiting for the funding. The good news is that some have received the funding and are calling people back to work.
The truth is that as an economy we are kind of floating right now. I had one friend say, “It’s like the time a guy jumped out of his high-rise office. About the 50th floor, someone opened a window and shouted, ‘How’s it going?’ The jumper shrugged, ‘So far so good.’” The common prediction is that the current situation is bad, but we are just at the “50th floor.”
I think I’ll go back to bad.