The 3 C’s

My email inbox is full of stuff. Let’s see, here is an offer for Viagra, another one for hair tonic, and another one for weight loss pills. It’s beginning to make me wonder who is talking about me out there.

Here is another offer about hot stock tips. Well, my investment portfolio could use some diversification. Maybe I should answer this spam email and buy 3 or 4 hundred shares of “Amalgamated Lint.” Sounds like it can’t miss. Didn’t Charles Schwab get his start by spamming stock tips?

Ahh, another chain letter. Let’s see what this one is about. Hey, if I send this email out to 750 people, I will get a special blessing from God. If I don’t send it out, my dogs will all grow an extra leg. I better start sending the emails, I can always use another blessing, and Blitz, my Boston Terrier already has his factory approved four legs.

Here’s a cool joke. Oh, wait, I already have four other copies of it from other friends. In fact, I received the same joke last month, and the month before that.

Wow. According to this email, people in Lower Moldavia are so poor that they are forced to use their own clothing for writing paper. They will peel off their shirt and write a message to someone, attach a stamp to it, and drop it in a mailbox. Interesting. Nah, I just checked out the “Urban Legends” website there is no Lower Moldavia. Who makes this stuff up? And why?

Here’s an email from a political party, telling me how evil the people of the other political party are. It makes some good points. How can a political party in America think they will be successful with a platform devoted to replacing meat in school lunches with dirt clods and the ritual skinning of cats? Well, I guess there could be some bias in the email.
Out of 45 messages in my inbox this morning, only 7 were not some kind of spam. My friend Les sent me a cool movie showing some stupid kids trying to kill themselves being daredevils, and some guys from my fantasy football league are already starting the trash talk. Too bad I will stomp their livers out once the season begins. Again. Poor deluded suckers.

I find there is so much peripheral stuff in my email that I can miss good messages deleting the bad ones. My delete key finger gets into a rhythm, and it’s bye-bye for the messages, sometimes even the good ones.

If I am not careful, I can get so caught up in the peripheral parts of my daily life that I can miss out on asking myself the tough questions and making sure my life is on course.

The Bible talks quite a bit about slowing down and making sure that you utilize your time wisely, not running through each day like your hair is on fire.

“Be very careful how you use your time, be wise in how you live.” (Ephesians 5:15)
“The wise give thought to their ways.” (Proverbs 14:8)

I have been asking myself some hard questions lately. They can be boiled down to what I call the “3 C’s.”
1. What is going to be the center of my life?
2. What is going to be the character of my life?
3. What is going to be the contribution of my life?

Center, character and contribution. Three very powerful words of reflection, action and impact.

Ask yourself what most of your time away from work is spent doing. That will reveal the center of your life. Maybe you don’t spend any time away from work. That will reveal your center as well.

When we talk about character, it is not what we think our character is, but what others think it is. Would the people who listen to you talk say you are a person of character? Can your word be trusted? Does your profession of faith line up with the steps you walk each day?

I love asking the contribution question. It makes me ask myself what I give back each day. At the end of each day, did I do anything to help someone else? Did I do anything selfless? If the answer is no, I purpose to look for more opportunities the next day, and ask God to forgive me for missing the chances He gave me today.

What about you? How are your “3 C’s” doing? If each of us will do our best to become a “3C” person, our lives and the lives of those around us will be impacted forever. Start asking yourself the questions each day and see where this journey takes you.

Working on my C’s… Jerry

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