I’m Going to Prison
Going to prison the first time was a bit scary. You are met at the gate by a guard asking questions. They want to know if you're bringing in any any contraband. The obvious ones are weapons and drugs. Cell phones are the big no-no. You can't bring in food. You absolutely MUST wear socks. I don't know the reasoning behind that one. I just wear 'em.
I've never done time, but every month or so, I visit a local prison here in Florida City. A friend roped me in a while back because I sing and play guitar. He needed someone to help with music at a 3-day retreat they run. The program is aimed at starting Christian communities in the prisons and supporting them ongoing.
I'm a plain ol' nice guy. I'm the type that got good grades and stayed out of trouble. I wasn't sure to expect the first time. You watch enough TV crime dramas and think to hard about worse case scenarios they teach you in the training and you worry.
Now that I'm a regular, I look forward to the visits. I'm getting together with residents in the prison I've gotten to know. What I've found interesting is that, unlike what I expected before I went in a few times, the residents I've met are more like me than I would have thought.
I recently spent time talking with a resident who told me he had just met his one month old grandson. His daughter came for a visit with the baby. This big guy cradles his arms like he's carrying a baby. He looks down into his arms and tells me, "I was carrying this little guy remembering how it was only yesterday I was carrying his mother."
When I told him my daughter recently got married we connected. They are close in age. He shared with me,, "You wait and see how exciting it is." Here's this guy and me exchanging stories about our kids, their kids and how we have to make the most of our time. We are both in our 50's and at this age it becomes clear how little time we have and how we need to make the most of it.
I know I spend too much time working. I don't know how to grow a digital agency like I have without spending many hours daily. Yet, when I think about what's most important in my life, the time I spend on my business versus the time I spend doing what's most important to me are out of whack. My relationships are really important to me. I've been married to this great lady 33 years. I've got three daughters I love and now a son-in-law.
The time I spend with my wife, family and friends is what I care the most about. It's the relationships I have with my team and customers. It's what I do for my church and community like my prison ministry work.
I just reviewed my quarterly goals and my biggest reason for wanting to reduce my business' dependency on me, is so my time gets more aligned with my priorities. My business does allow me to work with business owners helping them to grow their sales. I'm helping them with marketing and building membership programs and online courses that can have a huge impact on their business and their lives. I see it as my part of my vocation or even my ministry.
However, those other things are what's most precious to me. They are a real part of who I am and I want anyone meeting me to very clearly witness that I have my priorities set right and that I live my life in balance.
That's my two cents of this topic.