Don’t Give Up

Ari, Jezziah and Owen.

You are the most precious gifts that God gave me. Your mom and I are so proud of what you have and will become. One of the things that I want you to know about life that I’ve learned over my very short time here on earth is that God gave you a spirit of love and joy; one that is free to explore the gifts that He gave you.

Don’t give up.

If you’re not struggling at something, then it’s not worth doing. But you also must have passion. You must know that what you’re doing has a “why” – and a reason that will either “Love God” or “Love people”.

I don’t know where you’ll end up in your lives, but I hope that I will serve as an example to you about living a life that honors God – and not for the temptations that this world so easily brings.

I have a story for you, that I think you would like to hear.

It’s June 6, 2021 and it’s 12:51 a.m. It’s way too late for me to be writing this, but I was feeling inspired and reminded of my past, and thought I would write something for you to understand later. It’s been about a week and a half since I left my last job that I’ve been at for the last 9 years. The company was purchased three times in the last year – once by my long time friend Stephen “Steve” Barger and his wife, the president of the company, then owner. Then Steve pulled me aside for lunch on our own to let me know that he was selling the company to SecurAmerica. I was shocked and upset. I’d like to say that I was perfect in my response, but I didn’t really much say anything at all. Mostly because just before that, he mentioned that a coworker of mine would be promoted to Vice President.

It was in that moment that I felt silence. I felt what it was like to be betrayed. At least, that’s what it felt like in the moment. But, I also felt relief, because I didn’t have to tell the people that I had worked with for so long, that the company that was like family, actually was just a materialistic empire underneath it all, and the company was selling to the competition – a lifeless organization. I’d later learn that that was more true than I thought. The relief I felt was that I did not have to be the one to lead that explanation. I think that feeling was a bit of a cop out, but it was what it was. And there it was. I generally have had a pretty steady and level-headed response to about anything that has been thrown at me, but I chose silence this time. After all, “a wise man once said nothing.”

Just a few short months later, the company sold again to Allied Universal. I think this was the biggest shocker of them all, but it was again, what it was. Nothing that could be done for anything. I felt like the company was selling to the enemy for sure, this time. Steve was very upset, but he was also making a cool 15 or so million from the deal. What more could he want? He sold it, and just like that, they did what they wanted with the company.

This new company was just as lifeless as it sounded. The company was headed by Steve Jones – a man with little inspiration but for money, growth and fame. His book was pretty ridiculously written; focused on platitudes and good feelings absent any real advice. But, what more could one expect from another man? He certainly wasn’t/isn’t God, despite his acquisition notice of G4S going into “eternity”. This was one of those moments that really reminded me that this was not the company for me.

Another was when I was offered a Director of Operations role over Amazon Corporate with 64,000 hours under my responsibility – approximately 1,300 employees. No one in their right mind would turn down an opportunity like that, right? Well, here’s the problem. I didn’t know what they were paying for that role. So let me tell you a little about what I was making: $111,000 + 20% bonus over approximately 10,000 hours and 400 people. There’s no way that the math carries forward to mirror that responsibility. They also didn’t post the wage. So, I offered to do the job for $250k. Because… why not? Based off some really bad napkin math, they were pulling approximately $6 million in profit over and above their expenses. Why would they not want to pay someone that was the right fit? I certainly was willing to work for them, but I didn’t want to be a slave.

Anyway, you’re getting the picture now: it wasn’t received well. Almost a joke, really. But, I think in my naivety of the situation, God really showed me that they didn’t care about me, because conversation really broke down from there. They began to show their true colors. At least, the Regional Vice President did. I’m certain he was cordial because he had to be, but he didn’t much like me. I also didn’t like being labeled as someone that only wanted to do something for money. Because that’s not who I am. I would have done the job for my current salary, if I didn’t feel like I was going to be their slave. It was the largest company in the world on the largest account after all – and I promised them that I would not let it be a headache for them. And I meant that.

But you learn about people when you push them to be uncomfortable. Their true colors have a hard time of hiding themselves. Just keep going, and never give up on what you’re trying to accomplish. Because you know what happened after this date. God, was on the move. And even the largest company on their largest account could stand in the way of God’s plan for us. A time for us to grow closer together as a family, with Him at the center.

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