Your Church +Portland


Dead People Don't Have Goals

A while back my ‘other job’ had me scheduled to visit a customer requesting a new home security evaluation. When I pulled up in front of the house, the chain link fence surrounding his property had signs posted that the house was protected by camera surveillance – which is an unusual sign for someone requesting home security. I was greeted by a somewhat frantic-half-fried-looking customer on the porch and invited inside. When I walked in, I was greeted by his wife and taken to their living room where sat a rather large flat screen television and a 3 month old baby laying asleep on the floor. Showing on the television screen was live motion from 4 different camera angles, with one of the camera views cutting in and out. The customer proceeded to explain that the reason he needed me there was to replace all 4 cameras with my companies’ cameras so that he could have a better connection while monitoring the drug and sex trafficking ring down the street. 

“Say what…?” I said to him in bewilderment. “Uh, we don’t install cameras to spy on the neighborhood”, I muttered.

“Let me show you something”, the customer replied.

Hastily he walked me out of his house and across the street to another home. Reluctantly I followed him across the street and up the driveway towards the neighbors fence. He unlatched the fence and motioned for me to enter.  At that point my brain was reciting the famous Laurel and Hardy line, “Well, here’s another fine mess you’ve gotten us into!” With not being sure as to what this was about, the customer quickly swung open the gate and we entered the backyard. I asked him if trespassing was cool with the neighbors, to which he replied, “Oh I own this house too.” Yeah sure he did, I mused. Now at the end of the backyard and in the corner was a small work shed. As we approached the shed my customer pointed out one of his newly installed cameras positioned high upon the shed facing out towards an adjacent street. 

“This is the camera I need replaced. You see down there?”, he pointed through the fence towards the adjacent street. “That’s where the drug house is. Every day 20-30 cars come and go so I’m working with the county Sheriff to take them down.” 
This was all too surreal. Trying to decide whether or not to run or believe the guy I asked him why he wanted home security. 

“I don’t,” he replied. “I just want better cameras!” Oh brother. Thinking of how to break it to him while we walked back to his house, I began by explaining to him how the company I work for isn’t a surveillance system but a home security system. No sooner than I began my explanation did I notice one of our company vans parked down the street. So I informed the customer that I would go and ask our qualified technician about his specific need for surveillance. It would buy me time to figure out what I got myself into and be able to give my customer an ‘official’ answer, even though I already knew what the tech would say. My conversation with our technician started out good but was cut short when I noticed a complete stranger in a camouflage jacket walk up the driveway of the neighbors yard we had just exited. The stranger looked both ways, unlatched the fence, entered the backyard, and was out of sight. 

“Okay this just got weird”, I said to the tech. I hurried back to the customers home. Forgoing any use of the doorbell, I rushed into the customers home like I was family. “Uhh there’s a guy across the street who just entered your backyard!” I said somewhat frantically. I realized at this point I was fully engaged in this crazy neighborhood chaos. Rather calmly and peacefully the customer simply sat down on a bench in his hallway and let me know that it was his gardener. 

“Gardener?”, I replied. “He didn’t look like a gardener”
Ignoring my comment the customer pulled out his legal pad to write down the costs of installing our home security. What happened next was hair raising. 
“Help me! Somebody help me!”, screamed someone from across the street. 
Startled by the cries the three of us raced to the front door. There running, was a young woman frantically calling on her cell phone for help. “Help me”, she continued to shout. “Somebody help me!”

“Honey it’s the girl! Go get her and grab your gun!” My customer shouted to his wife. His wife ran into the kitchen, grabbed what looked like a .45 and ran out the door after the girl. 
Grab what? Huh what? My home security evaluation quickly morphed into another sequel of the movie ‘Taken’ except I didn’t get to play Liam Neeson. I was more like one of those pedestrians nobody ever sees in the background who gets paid to look bewildered. As his wife bounds out the door from out of nowhere a car came racing up to grab the girl. Out of the car bounded two people, a man and a woman. They grabbed the girl and shoved her in the car. It was then that I recognized the man’s camouflaged jacket. 
“Hey that’s the guy who was in your backyard!”, I shouted to the customer. 
“That guy?”
“Yeah him”
“That’s not my gardener!”, the customer shouted. And with that he ran into the living room, grabbed his pistol and ran out the door. Several renditions of the old song, ‘Why me Lord?’ ran through my mind. I decided choosing life in this situation was best so I stayed inside with the baby. I watched this husband and wife dynamic duo run down the street yelling, waving pistols and chasing after some kidnappers car. No shots were fired thank God, but the poor girl had definitely been captured.  This was really happening. Upon returning to their home, the couple made a call to the Sheriff’s department, relayed the story and were informed that they were on the way. At that point I shook their hands, wished them the best, handed them my business card and bolted out the door. 

As I drove away rather quickly, I remembered that the whole reason I was there was to close the sale on home security. I definitely failed salesman 101 but I didn’t care. The way I saw it was I got to live another day. Which got me thinking. You know, sometimes in life winning and conquering is nothing more than simply living another day. Some days your biggest and best goals might be found in just getting to the end of that day and saying, “Whew! I made it.” In this crazy world life can be tough when faced with daily requirements, quotas, goals and expectations. Sometimes that ‘life train’ keeps chugging faster than one can think and it seems the only thing everyone demands are results, results, results. You know the feeling? It’s at those times we have to let ourselves off the hook a little. Sometimes it’s okay to make breathing the goal. We just have to make it to the end of the day. It’s corny, but breathing DOES take us closer to every goal.  If we’re not breathing, we’re dead. And dead people don’t have goals. 

Hebrews 12:3 (New Century Version)
Think about Jesus' example. He held on while wicked people were doing evil things to him. So do not get tired and stop trying. 

As for the customer? The two helped bust the neighborhood drug/sex trafficking ring bringing to justice over 30 criminals. Pretty sweet.
Never give up.
Pastor Shian

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