Ridge Burns's blog

Reaching a Goal

Philippians 3:14 says, “I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” I am addicted to reaching goals. If there’s one thing I know I have – which is both a positive and negative – it’s that I set goals and will do everything I can to obtain those goals. Whether it’s finishing my postgraduate degree or playing golf well or writing a book – all of those are goals I have accomplished. They all have finish lines; they all have a start and an end. When I accomplish a goal it’s emotional for me: it’s part of who I am. It’s my soul. Last Monday was very emotional for me: we signed the building over and gave the keys to the new owner of the Villanova property, and had a grand opening of our new offices in Exton, Pennsylvania. This has been a five-year goal of mine: quietly for the first couple years working with our Board to see the value of reducing our liabilities, to a more openly-expressed desire in the last few years to see the building sold and us to relocate. It took us two years to buy a building and sell the other one. All of the inspections and permits and zoning variances that we needed to have all came together last Monday at 7:30am when our staff arrived in our new offices. I found myself overwhelmed. I found myself emotional because we had reached the prize. We had a goal and we accomplished it. I don’t know how interesting that is to you reading this blog. But for me, it makes me want to set more goals. Most of my job is without finish lines. I never really see the end; I just...

No Heart. No Soul.

If you follow my blog you’ll know that we have moved our InFaith Home Office this week. For almost the last fifty years, we’ve been located in a huge mansion in Villanova. It was massive: 14,000 sq. ft. not counting a 6,000 sq. ft. basement. But we filled it with furniture and the lives of the people on our staff. We filled it with memories: with dinners and lunches and planning sessions. So the building had heart and soul: it was us. But I just walked through the totally empty building. There are no desks. There are no people or photographs on the wall. It’s silent. It’s quiet and I feel like the building has lost its heart. It’s lost its soul; it’s no longer home to anybody. It’s a shell. It doesn’t feel very good. It’s kind of sad. It’s just a shell because what makes a building home is people. We’ve taken our heart and our soul and transported it twenty-three miles west into a really cool office space. But that too was just a shell until last Monday arrived and all our people showed up. In the noise of work, the laughter of people interacting with each other, the cafe, the conference room all became alive because people were there. Relationships are huge. They’re mighty and they’re important. I would suggest that the lesson of the old building in Villanova makes me want even more to have relationships in my life that are filled with the noise of people, the laughter of relationships, with journeying together in life. We need to remember that what makes life what it is is not our stuff or our environment – it’s what we bring to the environment. Who we are brings life and heart and soul to any space.

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