A Coaching Reflection

Funny, how our priorities change.

I work as a business coach. A month ago, I had a coaching conversation with a manager about his career. He was worried about being by-passed on the career ladder and at the same time struggling with the work–home life balance.

‘When I get home,’ he said. ‘I am tired out. I fall out with the wife and snap at the kids. I am also worried that I am not putting in enough hours at work. I don’t seem to be able to keep on top of things.’

The day before he was asked to work from home I had another conversation with him.

‘It looks like the schools are closing on Friday,’ he said. ‘I am not sure what we will do. My wife also works. The kids cannot look after themselves. They are too young.’

He did not mention his stalled career or heavy workload. He had other, more pressing priorities. His reality, the reality he created for himself out of his own thoughts and feelings had changed.

I was reminded of this when I listened to George’s sermon on Sunday, when he told the story of Lazarus being raised from the dead.

George pontificated on reasons why Jesus lingered for two days before he visited his sick friend and said it was ‘so that the Spirit could set Lazarus and all people free from death; not just physical death, but more importantly the symbolic death that exists inside each one of us in different ways.’

Those words struck a chord.

I have often wondered if some of the people I coach – and I count myself among them –- have died inside. They are good people, so hollowed out by the constants pressures of work and their careers that they have forgotten, or cannot make the time for what is important in their lives. Indeed, organisations encourage and reward them for putting the business first and if they are not prepared to make the necessary sacrifice they know someone else will be found to do the job. You know the story: It’s a dog-eat-dog world and only the fittest survive.

Does it have to be that way? Perhaps we should use our time in self-isolation to consider, or reconsider, our relationship with God and what we want to do with our lives; much in the same way that Lazarus lay on his death bed waiting for Jesus to arrive.

I do not buy into the end-of-the-world paranoia you read on the internet about the corona virus. I believe that we have to be prepared and that the Son of Man will come when we least expect it. There is nothing unexpected about this virus. It has been on the horizon for some time and the world is doing its best to cope with it.

I believe our God is a God of restoration and I encourage the people I coach (now, via SKYPE) to use this time to revaluate their lives and their faith and be ready to press forward so that when things return normal – and they will –they are ready to live life to the full and make the most of the talents our Lord has given them.

I trust you will do the same.

God Bless.

Dr John Temple
March 2020