Here’s a typical (busy) day out of my week:
6:55am I wake up a few minutes before my alarm clock starts chirping thanks to my neighbors annoying dog. I use the bathroom and make my bed. I won’t leave my room until my bed is made. I like to keep the place tidy.
7:15am while my coffee is brewing I’m listening to the audio bible which is on my phone. I prefer hearing the bible in the morning vs reading a hard copy. I see that I’ve already missed an early morning call from my friend who is in her 80’s. She wakes up a lot earlier than me. She probably wanted to check up on me and make sure I’m on track in life and especially my walk with Jesus.
7:30am I have a leisurely breakfast
7:50am I spend time in worship before I start my morning prayers. I never skip this time of bible / worship / prayer. I’ll skip my coffee and breakfast but I won’t skip this.
8:30am I make myself presentable but usually don’t shower in the morning unless I have important meetings.
9:00am I take a look at local news, international news and finally the financial markets. While I’m listening, I’m going over my plans for the day, making sure that appointments are still good. Traffic and weather reports if I’m going to be traveling.
9:30am I start with my emails, I have 61 that aren’t spam. Most are simply updates on ongoing projects and most don’t require a reply. One email is from one of my team members whom I’ve been working with since 2002 and whom I’ve been friends with since the 90’s. She’s spending time studying to improve her skills and sends me a list of what books she’s reading and podcasts she’s listening to – I respond with a list of exercisers she’ll need to do, because actual experience is far greater than book knowledge. But if you have both you’ll be a guaranteed success in most cases.
The next email is from an unhappy client, who has been with me for 2 years but he hasn’t made the kind of success he was hoping for. Sometimes you can reach all your goals and still not be successful. He likes my style, so we agree to brainstorm for a couple of days and start fresh soon.
One email is from a happy client, she’s been with me for 3.5 years and her salon has way more customers than she can handle. She asks me if she should open another salon and I tell her no. She’s still learning English as a second language and I tell her to focus on that, and saving up as much money from this salon as she can. It was such an uphill battle to get this current salon profitable that she should spend a few years simply enjoying the money instead of looking to spend it all on expansion. She agrees. I’m happy with that.
After a few more emails that require short responses or acknowledgments, the final email is from missionaries I sponsor in the Ukraine. The report says that people are giving their life to Christ, getting saved, baptized, churches are being built but things are not easy, gains typically involve the shedding of blood. Emails are all done, I move on to voice mails.
10:45am I check my voice mail, 19 calls. Not all of them require a response. One of my clients is pissed, a competitor has stolen much of his writings and is using it to gain sales. I’ve been there, so I feel for him. We do a conference call with a great lawyer who solves the problem in a matter of days.
Another client has a complex question about how to fold 2 slightly similar businesses into 1 to save admin costs and create possibly synergy. We come up with a great written plan that involves several scenarios and I tell him to sleep on it.
1:15pm My phone rings before I can dial the next number, and it’s an old friend according to the caller ID. This person is kind of an aggravation to me so I usually would let it go to voice mail but I see on my caller ID she’s already called several times so far today. She’s my age or slightly older but is at the level of a young teenager. She doesn’t have a drivers license, doesn’t read any books, doesn’t do any volunteer work or any kind of church related work unless it involves free food – and even then she coincidentally only shows up during the free food portion of the day, not the work portion. Her mom does her laundry, cleans for her and drives her everywhere so she doesn’t even take the bus because it’s beneath her. I’ve known her for years and nothing ever changes. She does part time work here and there, but she’s so sloppy that she can’t keep a job for much more than a few months at a time. She’s spent more time unemployed than employed and she’s constantly trying to get a reference from me. I have several dozen people in my life who are like her and I can’t stand any of them, I try to keep my distance. I try to have as much compassion as I can, telling her all I can offer her is prayer from now on. In the past I’ve done too much and enabled their sloppy lifestyles which in turn pulled me down with them.
1:55pm If you know me then you know I love anything to do with outreach and missions work. I return a phone call from one of the missionaries I sponsor. He’s what you would call a full time missionary. A citizen of Canada but he’s rarely here. North Africa, Mexico, Egypt, France, Ecuador, Peru, he spends months, sometimes years at a time. People like me put our money together and pay for it. Hundreds, no, no, thousands and thousands of people give their life to Jesus every year from these small missions projects. I pause for a few minutes, almost moved to tears because I’m grateful to have an opportunity to be part of this. I take a few minutes to pray and thank God.
2:30pm Time for my afternoon tea, while I work of course. I won’t be able to take breaks today. My final call is to my assistant, to find out how she’s doing – she had to drive her friend to the hospital and I wanted to touch base and make sure everything is okay.
4:15pm I leave to my appointments, disappointed that there is a scuff on my shoe that won’t come out. I promised 3 children and 1 teen a bible this week so I head over to Chapters and buy them.
5pm My only meeting for the day is with a young man at Tim Horton’s. We sip tea and chat about how life has gone for us both so far. He’s in that bizarre late teenage stage where he’s hanging onto childhood and trying to grasp manhood and he’s hoping I can give him that extra boost in the right direction. Among several pieces of advice I tell him to stop going on facebook, to throw away all his video games, start using a basic schedule so he doesn’t waste his days and to stay away from dating till he’s much older. The last part is tough for him to grasp.
6:35pm I arrive at downtown Toronto, parking near Queens Park. The other cars carrying the rest of my church outreach team are already there. We start by handing out food and supplies to the homeless at Nathan Philips Square. Some of our regulars are glad to see us and introduce us to some of the new homeless people living here, including young pregnant lady. After we walk to a very busy intersection and start sharing our faith with people (sometimes we even do live music), collectively we talk to 112 strangers and pray for 29, several of them give their life to Jesus and several re-dedicate their life to Jesus. We take contact information from whoever will give it to make sure they get into a good church near their home and connected to a good pastor. One person kicked one of our cardboard signs that said “God loves you” and another person asks us for a free bible, and when we give it to her, she starts screaming obscenity at us and tearing it into thousands of little pieces, while we continued on our business spreading the gospel. One of our teens yells out “Jesus loves you” and a passer by breaks down crying, almost collapsing into the hands of our team. I ask a man if He knows Jesus and he laughs at me while continuing to walk. 20 minutes later he comes back and apologizes for walking away the first time. He says he’s an atheist and wants to know God, but wants proof. I tell him what God has done for me, I introduce him to some of my friends and although he’s impressed, he’s not convinced. I ask him to pray to God, that God would reveal Himself to this man in a way that convinces him. He agrees to do this and then gets on the transit to go home. I really hope he reaches out to God because everyone who reaches out to God – receives an answer.
8:15pm Everyone wants to stay longer but we’ve run out of supplies for the night, and I want to start the drive home so we can get everyone home at a reasonable hour. Sometimes we aren’t home until midnight because of the larger number of people we minister to or because we stop for snacks after. Conversations can last for hours and today I don’t have much extra time. We take beautiful photographs, especially my red headed friend who has a knack for taking great pictures.
8:35pm The group closes in prayer in a parking lot and then we start our drives home. Because we each minister to different people during the night, we share testimonies and prayer with the rest of the team. This is an awesome team, and I’ve been doing this for a long time and I’m grateful to get to work with such great people. This group is one of my favorites and will grow up to be so strong in the Lord, they’ll surpass me in every way, which is the goal. They are being discipled and they don’t even know it. We ride home in several cars, my car is filled with teens who are on fire for Jesus, I love the fun conversations we have on the ride home, endless laughter and still there is growth.
10:35pm I’m finally home, picked up a burger and small fries with sweet and sour sauce, I’ll eat it while I catch up on an episode of The Walking Dead. I respond to several text messages and look over my schedule for tomorrow.
11:08pm I light a candle and do my evening prayer time which is usually my most meaningful time of prayer for the day. It doesn’t have to be a lot of time, but it’s always the best. Goodnight.