In The Ministry of Business, I make a point “that nothing about life is coincidental—there are no coincidences. Things happen as part of a larger plan, and if we understand this, we will begin to [get a] glimpse of the divine nature of our being. Many of the things some would call coincidental are, in reality, nothing short of miraculous.”
We have had many comments from readers of the book that recognize looking back, that indeed, the things they saw as happenstance, were really evidences of God’s love and concern for them. What a different perspective this is when we view these circumstances in the proper light. I had a very recent powerful situation that evidences these truths again.
I serve on the board of a start-up company. This company is developing world-class meaning in culture and value training—-turning values into habits. I don’t know why I serve on the board, except I have been connected with the owners for some time and they value my input (I guess).
Central to their last board meeting was to develop their purpose statement. These statements often intertwine with value statements, mission statements, mantra’s, and similar platforms. The idea behind a purpose statement is to characterize why they (the company in this case) exists.
In the studies of the executive team, they were studying the words of Jim Collins in Built to Last, and other great counsel. They discovered a story about a group called the PJ’s, or the United States Air Force Pararescue. From a need recognized since 1922, the special forces unit has a purpose; to rescue others so that others may live. They are the ones who go in to rescue downed pilots, astronauts in the sea, wherever the need may be, they will go behind enemy lines to bring out those who are trapped, in danger, etc.. The training to make this team is so rigorous, only five out of one hundred make it. The intense training lasts two years.
The pararescue unit has a creed; the full statement of their purpose is as follows:
“It is my duty as a Pararescueman to save lives and to aid the injured. I will be prepared at all times to perform my assigned duties quickly and efficiently, placing these duties before personal desires and comforts. These things I do, that others may live. ”
It is the bolded part, “That Others May Live” that is often emblazed on their arms in the form of a tattoo.
The executive team presented this information to the board, and suggested the purpose statement of the new company would be “That YOU may become…..”. There is much more to this, but I am not at liberty to divulge at this time. The point is, have a purpose statement that is short, powerful and to the point, and that states the purpose for the group/individual/companies existence.
Ironically, and this is the point of my blog, to tie into this truth about NO coincidences, I flew home next to a neighbor that had this tattoo on his arm. He was about 30, good looking with olive complexion and build like a fit soldier. When he reached up to get his bag from the overhead, his t-shirt stretched up and I saw the phrase “That Others May Live”. I asked him if he was a special forces extraction specialist. He looked at me shocked, but with a sort of reverence that I noted. He said he was not, but that his dad was. He then told me that his dad didn’t talk much about his service in the military, but after he passed away they learned of his heroic acts. He had the tattoo put on his arm as a tribute. This was a very touching and powerful moment for each of us; moist eyes, tender. I couldn’t believe that at this particular moment in time, this gentlemen would be my neighbor on a flight that immediately following the board meeting discussing this special forces unit.
I felt like this was sort of a confirmation that what the executive team selected for this particular company was right on! I viewed this experience as a tender mercy. Tell me the odds of having this experience with the team, then on the flight home being a neighbor to a man with the tattoo of the very inspired creed we were modeling after? What are the chances of this happening to me at this exact time, on this exact flight, with the son of a man who bore the tattoo in remembrance of his father? What are the chances??
Remember to watch for the tender mercies; to understand the truth that there are NO coincidences. The Ministry of Business has several more examples of this which you can enjoy.