You have made people like the fish in the sea, like the sea creatures that have no ruler.
The wicked foe pulls all of them up with hooks, he catches them in his net,
he gathers them up in his dragnet; and so he rejoices and is glad.
Therefore he sacrifices to his net and burns incense to his dragnet,
for by his net he lives in luxury and enjoys the choicest food. Habakkuk 1:14-16
It is important in any line of business to identify the critical success factors. You can manage your heart out but if you focus your attention on managing the wrong factors the company will move in unpredictable and uncontrolled directions. In education, we track enrollment and retention. In banking, we track credit spreads and default rates. In retail we track turnover and gross margin. There are lots of other metrics that are worthy of management, including for these industries, but you get the idea.
Once we identify the factors we have to manage to ensure success, we keep a careful focus on them. We track them every week. We forecast them every quarter. We lay awake at night wondering how they will turn out. I think it is safe to say we often obsess over those factors.
As individuals within the company, or in any environment, we like to identify the major sources of our success also. We learn how to manage the boss so that we stay on her good side. If we have a single client who makes up a big percentage of our revenue, we keep careful tabs on that client. We worry about those people. We curry favor with them. We obsess. At some point, it begins to look a lot like worship.
Its natural. We see those people as having control over our lives and it would appear to be true. Whether I am able to keep paying my mortgage or have to ask my family for a loan Is in the hands of that major client. Whether I have a good day, or a good month, or get relocated to Timbuktu is in the hands of my boss. No wonder we worship them. We see them as controlling our lives in the same way the ancient Hebrews thought the Baals controlled the rain and the crops.
If only we stopped to consider how much bigger and how much more in control of our lives the Lord is. Our God is god over our bosses. Our God is god over all our clients. He is god over whether we have good days or bad. He is God over whether we are rich or poor. And He is god over so much more than those weak people we fear so much.
The next time you start to feel yourself obsessing over the affections of your boss, your clients, or whoever looks like they are pulling the strings in your life, look up. Those strings go all the way to heaven and the only one pulling them is the God who loves you so.