Needless to say, the news was a little unsettling to Lisa--someone who doesn't enjoy the prospect of landing and taking off in good weather, much less two feet of snow.
But we packed and proceeded with our plans knowing that the event organizers would contact us if things needed to change because of the impending weather. Monday afternoon, we arrived at the airport in Nashville. About 25 minutes before we were to start boarding, my phone rang. It was the organizer wondering if we had boarded the plane yet. The short version was that they were worried about what was to come and wanted to know if we were willing to come and what our flexibility was like. I groaned. I really wanted to do the event but I also understood their concerns. As I told the lady at the Avis Rental counter in Detroit, "When the natives are restless about what's coming, it's not some place that a Southerner needs to be stuck."
Anyway, we went. We were only able to get one day of the conference in. We had a great time with the incredible people of St. John Providence Health Systems (the time was too short but great nonetheless) and we caught the last flight out of Detroit before the nastiness hit.
But it was a refreshing time, a great chance to listen to people who get what quality and excellence are all about. I was very pleased to listen to their leaders as time and time again they talked about two things: call and remembering that the bottom line is people.
Those are two very important things that would change the way that most of us look at our relationship with others, the way we see our churches, the way we understand our call to serve others. In the places we are placed, God has put a call on our lives. He desires us to serve this world with gifts and talents and personalities that are uniquely ours. We can never forget that--lost among the campaigns and blogs and tweets and programs and buildings--God simply loves people. At the end of the day, He asks us to do the same.
I'm glad to be safely back in Nashville where it's a balmy 28 degrees last time I checked. More important, I'm thankful for the reminder to us all--Jesus came for people. Then He asked us to set aside our desires and do the same.