Broken Is Better!

A friend of mine told me today that he is going to have a doctor take a look at his foot next week. Evidently, he has been experiencing pain for the past several years due to one of his toes being misaligned with the rest of his foot. As painful as that sounds, the solution sounds worse. To fix his problem, his foot will have to be broken and the toe realigned!


My Business Is Broken

If you have been following this blog for the past few weeks, you may have noticed the several times I have mentioned the challenges I am facing in my business. I am not going to take the time to go into the details about the trouble I am experiencing. Instead, I am just going to say that my business, in a way, is broken.

I have lost two key members of our team and had to shift three others into new jobs. All this has taken place in the last 30 days. We are not in any significant danger, but we are certainly facing headwinds that make it tougher to see the bright side right now.

During all of this, my day-to-day role has changed dramatically. Rather than being in a position to cast the vision and guide the ship, I have had to move to the engine room to help with the basic operation of the business.

Temporary Limitations

The role change I have experienced is not life-threatening. In fact, there have been some benefits to getting involved at a deeper level in the operation. The problem is that I have not been able to spend the necessary time on the bigger picture issues where I believe God has called me to focus.

When I think about this picture in the short-term, it is easy to get frustrated. I know God has called me to impact people for eternity through this business. He gave me strengths and talents that can be used to accomplish this. Unfortunately, while I am knee-deep in the details of the day-to-day operation, I cannot operate in these strengths.

In the short-term, it looks like God is taking me out of the game. Is it possible He made a mistake in allowing our company to be broken?

Broken Foot

Let’s go back to my friend with the foot problem. The doctor is telling him that he has a solution to his problem. The solution is for his foot to be broken and the bones realigned. Then the doctor will put that broken foot in a special boot for six to eight weeks to heal.

If my friend goes through this process, he will wake up after the surgery being in worse shape than he was before the surgery. Activities that just caused a little pain before the surgery will now be impossible to do. His mobility will be much more limited for those six to eight weeks of healing than it was before the surgery.

Does that mean the doctor was wrong?

Long-term vs. Short-term

No! It is clear to all of us that my friend must look past the recovery period to see the reward. He is not going through this procedure for the short-term. His goal is to enjoy a long-term picture without the limiting pain he was experiencing before.

Folks, the same is true of my business. I cannot see into the future to know what God has in mind for my ministry through this business. I have no idea exactly what He is up to in allowing it to be broken for this time.

What I do know is that He is up to something. In the meanwhile, He is giving me peace and support from those around me that I have not experienced to this degree before.

What Is Broken Will Be Fixed

It is crystal clear to me that what is broken now will eventually be fixed. Not only that, but it will be better than it ever was for His purposes! I must suffer through the short-term limitations and frustrations just like my friend in the boot. However, when the pieces come back together, I believe our impact will increase exponentially!

One last point…our lives work the same way. Often, life throws us unexpected challenges. Things happen and we are broken in ways we never imagined.

While it is easy for us to lose hope and fall into desperation, we should instead press into God and have faith that He is going to put us back together. God is faithful to do it. Not only that, but we will be better after the surgery than before!

Has your business (or life) been broken?

Can you see the long-term benefit?

If you have been through this, will you share with us?

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  • Rajeev

    AMEN !!

  • Coach Brown

    Mended broken bones are stronger than before. They almost never break at the same place again. – My grandfather was a tile layer and did many mosaic murals in Miami during the 40s-70s. What I remember so well as a little boy in his shop was watching him intentional breaking good tiles into broken pieces to prepare the materials he needed to layout a mural mosaic. I was amazed to see the big picture that he could make from all those broken pieces…the beautiful mural that from a distance on a side of a wall was like a painting but when looked at closely was a bunch of well placed broken pieces of tile!

    • Chris Patton

      I am so glad to hear about your grandfather! That is exactly what I had pictured when I was searching for the picture to go with the post!

    • TNeal

      Love the personal touch on this. It’s something I can imagine but you make it come alive through a child’s eyes in his grandfather’s workshop. Thanks for sharing, Coach.

      • Coach Brown

        thanks for your kind words… at my age it is getting harder to remember much less reflect upon my youth, but some events certainly stand out and this is one!

  • Gerald Michael Dodaro

    I’ve been a business owner and an employee, and I know there are many reasons people leave key positions in a company. If the core of the broken-ness is the absence of key people, maybe it’s time to evaluate the conditions that led to their departure.

    • Chris Patton

      Great insight, Michael! I appreciate you asking the tough questions!

      I went through more detail in recent posts, but here is the summary. One was presented with an opportunity he and I had talked about over the years. It was something he could not pass up and we celebrated his decision as a company. The other violated our integrity policy and was asked to leave.

  • Kari Scare

    Just over 2 1/2 years ago, I discovered a food allergy and several intollerances that had led to me being physically and mentally “broken.” Since then, I feel like my life has been rebuilt in every way possible. Without having that brokenness, I do not believe I would be in the place of strength I am in today. The long-term benefit is that I can now help others with similar struggles to mine (not just this particular struggle but many throughout my life), and I feel like I am at a place of giving, helping and teaching rather than taking and needing so much. I feel more dependent upon God and less dependent upon myself and others. Life isn’t without struggle, but I love that there is always victory because of Christ.

    • Chris Patton

      Thanks for sharing, Kari!

  • TNeal

    My recent short-term mission trip (a story I shared over at Jon Stolpe Stretched earlier this week) put me in an uncomfortable position but one in which I learned/am some hard lessons. I’ve been unsettled for over a month now (and my posting schedule at Curious shows how out of kilter I am).

    The short-term can be miserable. The long-term/eternal though is far more significant.

    Thanks, Chris, for sharing your experience and your friend’s story.

    • Chris Patton

      You are welcome, Tom. I will pray for your short-term strength and wisdom.

  • Chris Patton

    Thanks Chris! I feel the same way!