The bags were packed, flights booked and contingency plans written for the new overseas business venture. Establishing a branch of his business in a new location would be time consuming but the CEO knew his staff could be trusted to keep things ticking over. Although he had ensured that his business interests were adequately covered, he wanted to give three members of staff an opportunity to shine.
As he placed his passport and travel documents in his briefcase, he heard the familiar voice of his PA in the doorway.
"They're ready for you."
Picking up a pile of client portfolios he left his office and walked into the boardroom to find his three most promising employees waiting nervously.
To the first he gave five of his most important client portfolios to develop.
To the second he gave two of his most important client portfolios to develop.
To the third he gave one of his most important client portfolios to develop.
Each portfolio had been specifically tailored in relation to the employees performance and ability.
He said his goodbyes, picked up his briefcase and left for the airport.
The first employee set to work immediately, developed her five portfolios and established five new clients as a result of her hard work. The second employee also set to work, taking his two client portfolios and doubling the turnover for their businesses. The final employee took her client portfolio and went into maintenance mode. She met her client's basic needs but when they suggested new opportunities to explore she made her excuses to keep the portfolio manageable.
A year later the CEO returned from his extended trip and called all three employees into his office. The first employee eagerly shared her successes and the CEO immediately offered her a promotion and invited her to celebratory drinks. The second employee also shared his successes and could see from the impressed expression on his CEO's face that he would definitely be getting his bonus this year. The final employee stepped forward. She explained how she knew the CEO hated failure and so she had kept the portfolio ticking over. No new business opportunities had been explored and the portfolio was in exactly the same state it was in when the CEO had left for his trip.
In anger the CEO snatched the portfolio file from the third employee and handed it to the first employee to grow and develop. He then looked the third employee in the eye, pointed his finger directly at her and said,"You're fired!"
"To those who use well what they are given, even more will be given, and they will have an abundance. But from those who do nothing, even what little they have will be taken away."
There are 525,600 minutes in a year, each one a gift from God, each one an opportunity to serve and build a relationship with Him.
How many of us squander those minutes on pointless activities and endless distractions?
We have been given so much and yet sometimes we forget, as the clock ticks by, that every second is a chance to shine for Jesus in a world that seems so dark. Each hour is an opportunity to grow into a deeper understanding of his love for us. Our role is to choose what we do with the time, gifts and talent portfolio we have been given.
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