By Greg Tidwell
“As American Express Loses Its President, His Kids Gain a Dad,” noted a November 22 (1996) headline in Wall Street Journal.
At 49, Jeffery E. Stiefler had everything the corporate fast-track could offer; power, a salary of more than $4 million and commensurate benefits. Stiefler, however, stunned the business world by walking away from corporate success to spend time with his family.
Stiefler explained his new focus as “growing up.” Gaining maturity, he found life was more than money or power. This change of perspective highlights real value in life, not short-term priorities of corporate success.
“I tended to approach life as a series of two-minute drills,” Stiefler explained, “but I came to realize that approach doesn’t work if you plan to play for the whole game.”
From this dramatic transformation, three points challenge our own assessment of life.
Values Set Agendas. “For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also (Matthew 6:21). What makes life worth living; who and what do you truly love? The answers to these questions set the slate for any understanding of life’s direction and meaning.
Priorities Control Time. “Look carefully how you walk, not as unwise men, but as wise, making the most of the time, because the days are evil” (Ephesians 5:15-16). How we use our time speaks volumes about our basic priorities. Scheduling problems are often problems of the heart.
Action is Essential. While the business world was not surprised that Stiefler felt conflict between his work and his family, many were shocked that he did something about the situation. “Why do you call me Lord, Lord, and do not do what I tell you?” (Luke 6:46).
Each of us could benefit by candidly looking at our time, commitments, understanding our priorities and embracing concrete action to bring our lives more fully into alignment with the will of God.
- Greg Tidwell; via The Encourager, the weekly bulletin for the Calvert City church of Christ, Calvert City, KY. Lance Cordle preaches for the congregation. He may be contacted through the congregation's website: http://www.calvertchurchofchrist.com