Sunday, January 22, 2012

Taking Down the Wall

In 1988 I started my own business with The Longaberger Company. It was a wonderful way to meet new friends, earn fun money, and help with my love of organizing and decorating with baskets.

It went well. I soon realized that I not only enjoyed selling the products but I also enjoyed helping others get started in the business; and my earning potential was a lot more than fun money.

Like every good sales organization, Longaberger was always dangling a carrot (sell this much and get this for free). I didn’t realize how motivational carrots were for me. One of the big carrots was recognition in front of peers often accompanied by a certificate or other displayable award. I decorated my office with them and soon the wall across the room from the front of my desk was screaming what a great consultant I was. Some of those awards were truly earned; I received others because of the position I held. My wall was impressive.

And my wall led me astray. Although I never cared for the term basket lady and my consultant position with Longaberger was never my first priority or my passion, you would have been hard-pressed to believe that if you saw my wall. Funny thing was you probably would never see it. It was in my office where I worked on my computer and did other desk related tasks. The real work of Longaberger was out there with people; they didn’t come to my office. For the most part I was the only one who saw my wall and I saw it every day. I was the only one affected by it.

My wall communicated to me that I had done well; it communicated to me that I had an enviable position; it communicated status and worth. In some ways all of that was true but it didn’t communicate truth—my real identity; it communicated something very temporal. But I saw it every day; and everyday it re-enforced wrong thinking. It actually re-enforced a lie that I learned to believe over the years, I need a position or a role or a title for significance. 

When I finally realized what was happening in me as I looked on that wall, I was saddened. I didn’t need or want to re-enforce a lie; I needed and wanted to re-enforce truth. My real identity is not earned; my identity is not based on position; my identity is not temporal, it is eternal—I am a child of God—nothing can take that from me. I took down the wall.

What did I experience that day? Tremendous freedom and relief! (And the wall actually looks nicer too.J)

I still remind myself of my identity—my true identity—almost every day; not by looking at a wall full of awards, but by looking at the personal significant Scriptures I have copied into my journal—those truths that are lasting, that give me real position, status and worth.

And I am still a consultant with The Longaberger Company. Although my specific position within the Longaberger ranks is no longer important for me.

“How great is the love the Father has lavished on us …called the children of God … and that is exactly who we are”.
I John 3:1, The Message Bible

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