The parking lot nazi

I went to the dentist yesterday, I hate the dentist (not the guy, the experience). His office is part of a larger medical office group that shares a common parking lot. The doctor’s office next door is having problems finding spaces for their patients to park, so they hired an old guy to chase the dentist’s patients off. If you pull up on their side of the lot, he runs up to your car and starts harassing you until you move, no exaggeration. It is quite a sight to see. He sits there in his little lawn chair under an umbrella reading a book. Just act like you are thinking about parking on their side of the lot and his ears perk up. He starts licking his chops because he can see an unsuspecting dental patient coming his way. He springs into action. Like a lion on his prey. And he is effective. The kill is merciless and swift.

The last time I was there, I had a run-in with him. I did wind up parking in his “no parking zone”, but it came at a cost. I left feeling less than good about my exchange with him. This time, I didn’t even think about it. As soon as I saw him, I lowered by head and drove to the other end of the lot. I had to walk about 100 yards to get to the dentist’s office.

As frustrated as I have gotten with this guy, and as ridiculous as the whole idea is, there are several things about him that I respect:
He is consistent. He loves his work. He is good at his job. He loves his work. He is diligent. And did I mention that he loves his work?

I would like to do my work with the same enthusiasm that this old guy does his. He is so passionate. He doesn’t care what people think, he has a job to do and he knows how to do it. He has an insatiable desire to control his parking lot. He can’t be deterred.

I don’t have his job. I couldn’t make a living nagging people into moving their cars. My work is different.
But I wish I could exhibit the same energy and passion that he does. I wish I was as effective as he is.

Through the challenges of this week’s responsibilities, I am praying that God will refresh my energy for His work. I want my work to be more than responsibility and obligation. I want it to be heartfelt and passionate. I want to lick my chops, ready to pounce on the next opportunity.

Here are some ways that I (we) can make that happen:
Maintain a balanced focus: big picture/small picture. This is difficult. The temptation is to fall on one side or the other. Check in often with the idea of leadership equilibrium (future blog topic).
Make time for spiritual nourishment. Pray, read, meditate, isolate, fast. I know that this is Leadership 101, but you can’t give out what you haven’t taken in.
Grab time off. Too much work and not enough play will sour you. Again, balance comes to mind.
Take advantage of colleague interaction. There are things that can be shared only between those who walk the same road. Be sure to interact with friends in the same or a similar field of work.
Understand your Divine purpose. Rick Warren has thoroughly covered this topic but it is a worthwhile consideration for the leader who hopes to hang on to motivation. Know who God made you to be, and be that person.
Keep it simple. Uncomplicate the processes in which you are involved. It is easier to develop inspiration when systems are slick and unencumbered.

These are really just a few simple insights into maintaining motivation. I hope you can plug them in and benefit from them. I will continue to try.

My next dental appointment is in four months. I have no idea what my dentist will say or if I will need to have some work done. I may have a clean check up or I may have a cavity, we will see. But one thing I do know for sure, I will be parking in the correct location.

Beware of the parking lot Nazi.

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2 responses to “The parking lot nazi

  • Sharon Seldow

    May I say you TOTALLY do your work (for God) with the same enthusiasm and gusto as the parking lot guy. You are never deterred from your mission to remind all of us that we must “stop” and “listen” if we are to hear God. One could say you are God’s nazi- but I think that would be an oxy-moron, so I would say you are God’s parking lot attendant who keeps us from going into the wrong parking lot on a regular basis! Sharon

  • Rosemary Matsikidze

    Very Funny and interesting story. We miss you paster Rick, and yes you preach with eloquence, love as well as enthusiasm among other things. Please give my warm regards to Letha and the whole Marantha family. Let them know the bond we share through Christ will always remain strong. See you all the weekend of June 20th.You Are God’s parking lot attendant I totally agree with Sharon Seldow:)

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