Thoughts on life, leadership and the movement called the church by Brian C. Hughes, Senior Pastor

by Brian C. Hughes, Senior Pastor

Sunday, April 22, 2012

My Poor Tree and 3 Lessons Learned

 A few folks asked about my poor tree today.  (click here to watch the service) Here's the scoop:  I really am an idiot.  I used to do this for a living.  I owned my own business and I had over 1,000 customers who trusted the care of their turfgrass and ornamental landscape to me.  As a Certified Applicator, I was well trained and educated and I was good at it, frankly.

But I'm an idiot.  In case I haven't mentioned that.

I just got careless and I didn't bother to read the label well.  In my haste, I probably killed the tree.  Today is day 7.  On day 2, it was already looking bad, so I hosed it down and I SOAKED the roots, trying to flush out the chemical.  I did it again on day 4.  But it was all probably too late.

I really am sick over it.  But there are several lessons worth noting:

1) When we get in a hurry, we are more apt to make careless mistakes.  If I had simply taken an extra 5 minutes, I could have avoided a costly error.  How many times do I do dumb things or make easily avoidable mistakes because I am rushing?  More than I want to know.  I know I'm not alone in this: I need to slow down to measure what I do long enough to avoid careless errors.

2) When I first saw my mistake, I took immediate action.  That's a lesson worth noting, regardless of whether the tree lives or not.  My initial inclination was to go throw up and wallow in my pity.  I knew immediately that I had probably killed the tree.  But as long as there was a chance, I had to face up to my mistake and I had to take any potentially redemptive action available.  I can think of more than once in my life when I made a mistake worse because I avoided it, hid from it or tried to cover it up (or lie about it).  Most of the time, the sooner we honestly and openly deal with a mistake, the better the outcome and the more we can minimize the damage.  That's true emotionally, physically and spiritually.

3) Learn from the mistake.  Honestly, I do repeat mistakes.  How long it takes to repeat one is directly tied to how painful the consequence was.  In this case, I think I have a 10-year life on this lesson.  Maybe longer.  But the smartest thing to do is not make the same mistake again.  After all, there are plenty of other ways I can creatively mess something up!

1 comment:

jf said...

If you go to the beach this summer, just to be safe, I'd go ahead and let Susan apply the sun tan lotion to the kids.