Wednesday, June 25, 2008

The Joy of Service

Tuesday was my 30th wedding anniversary. My wife is to be commended for grace, patience, forgiveness and faith for being married to me but that’s another story.

To celebrate we went to El Gaucho’s, a tremendous restaurant in Seattle known for their steaks. They should also be known for their service. We had the best greeting by the hostess that I’ve ever had. Authentic, enthusiastic, pleasant and with full eye contact we were welcomed, confirmed for our table reservation and congratulated for our anniversary.

After being seated the entire wait staff was the picture of professionalism, helpfulness, friendliness and not the least intrusive. They gave the impression that their job was to make your dining experience memorable.

Everything we ordered was prepared at our table. The skill involved in the creation of each dish was entertaining to watch and it was done to perfection (imagine flaming cherries jubilee). I began inquiring how long each had been performing these tasks. Not surprisingly each had been doing so for years and literally in the tens of thousands of times they had tossed salads, cut and presented the main entrees and delighted with desserts. I had to then ask why they had done these things for so long. The quick reply was that they enjoyed what they did, the team with whom they worked and the customers they served.

I immediately reflected on what I do and how I feel about it. I’ve presented 2,000 talks or messages or sermons. I’ve conducted hundreds of hours of counseling and thousands of hours of leader coaching. I could go on but the looming question was, “Do I enjoy what I do, the team with whom I work and those whom I serve?” My quick and clear answer is YES. I love what I get to do and with whom I get to do it.

But the second question didn’t have as quick an answer. Is the joy I have in serving obvious to others? Sometimes yes and sometimes no.

I had a wonderful time with my wife and a stirring experience that has inspired me to be a better me.

I’ll leave you with the same questions. Do you enjoy what you do? Is your joy obvious to others?

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