How do you see this life that you live? Do you see it as a race? A marathon? A quest? No matter how we define our lives are lives are a path we must walk out. Some days it can feel like a sprint and other days it can feel like the longest marathon race we have ever encountered. I see our fiscal years here at Baker Roofing as a race. As we approach the finish line for this year, I cannot help but think of the hurdles we have had to overcome this past year. Some years it is a blessing to be able to hit the reset button and leave the previous year right where it is…in the past. Some years are harder than others. Sometimes we start out strong and then unforeseen things happen which can slow us down or trip us up. Other years we have tremendous momentum and I find myself not wanting it to end.
One lesson I pull from my childhood is my dad would teach me to finish strong. No matter how things go or if you bobble at the start; always finish strong. As we close out this year, I think about all we have been through to be where we are today. We have been blessed as a company to be as strong as we are despite the challenges of this past year. Our resources have been called upon to conquer the challenges that have been pushed in our way. All your creativity, hard work, resourcefulness and commitment to finishing strong and always doing good work are bringing us to a successful close for this year.
Sometimes when challenges come it can be a test to not compromise are values or our principles. Staying the course, meeting the challenges head on and pushing through no matter what is what makes us stronger and successful. This is what makes us Baker Roofing. Results are one thing and yes, we want successful results, but it is also in how we get those results that matters most. One of the things I enjoy about Baker is we are interested in the process as well as the result. The way we do something is what defines us more than what the result is. The end results will take care of themselves if we are committed to a daily walking out the process of excellence in how we conduct ourselves.
I am reminded of the move “Chariots of Fire” from 1981. This multi-academy award winning movie portrayed the life of Eric Liddell. Eric was from Scotland in the early part of the twentieth century. He was a runner, a rugby player and a missionary to China. Mr. Liddell was a disciplined man guided by certain principles. He was a fast runner who ran the 100m, 200m, 400m and 4x100m relay. He was talented and enjoyed his ability to run fast. He was a man who had decided who he was going to be and then went out and did what he needed to do. Eric held beliefs that Sunday was the Lord’s day. The Olympic committee had him scheduled to run the 100m heat on a Sunday. Eric would not do this. This decision sent shockwaves around the world. However, he would not capitulate and went on to run and win in the 400m setting a new world record. He ran for a few more years and then returned to China as a missionary.
I share this story because he ran the race of his life well. He was guided by principles just as we are. His course was set and when the storms of life threatened he navigated by the compass he ascribed to. We are guided by “Always Good Work”. We are in a race. A long one. We have been running this course since 1915. There have been many trials we have discussed previously which had to be overcome. Every year that we complete another lap we reach another milestone. As we complete each lap, it gives us the opportunity to assess ourselves and our work. We can ask questions to how we accomplished certain jobs or overcame obstacles we did not foresee. In doing this, we can reflect, learn, grow and turn the page and in turning the page we close this chapter. We look forward to what will be written in the next and what will be said of what we do. The great thing about endings is they always lead to new beginnings. New opportunities to grow, learn and to master the art of our work.
Let us not grow weary for the finish line is in sight. Let us all commit to the tasks which lie before us to finish strong in all areas. May each of you stay safe and be blessed whether you are daily climbing the roofs, or sorting orders in the warehouse, or answering phone calls, or ensuring logistics is being handled, or closing the deal or simply picking up a nail. Each of you is vital and for that I say have a great week…let’s get after it.