Thirty-eight years, this guy was crippled and sitting by a pool for waiting for it to be stirred so he could be first in the water and be healed. Jesus comes up to him and says “Get up, pick up your mat and walk!” and the crippled man was healed. He’s up and walking and the Jewish leaders see him moving and carrying his mat and they rebuke him because it was the sabbath and he was carrying more weight than what was allowed. My paraphrasing comes from John 5. Let me trim down my paraphrase even more. For thirty-eight years this guy is a cripple and seen by these Jewish leaders – THIRTY-EIGHT years, suddenly he is walking fine and they notice that he’s carrying his mat and don’t notice that he’s completely healed. What are you noticing?
In a few weeks my fellow franchisees and I will celebrate when the original store opened 23 years ago, by offering a significant discount to anyone who walks through our doors. It gets crazy! We have been known to triple our daily volume and it can be overwhelming but it all depends on what you notice. I always love seeing customers that I remember seeing on opening day, and the joy of seeing some customers 7 times throughout the day, and then there’s that lady, since this will be my 6th birthday celebration I know it’s probably the 6th time I’ve seen her in my store. She only shows up on this one day every year, she scowls because we are super busy and she had to wait in line to order, wait in line for her drink, and she doesn’t know what everyone else is so happy about.
In the days leading up to the big day I try to remind my team that the day is about trying to say “thank you” to our customers that have helped keep the open sign on for the last 364 days and today is the day we bring together the once-a-week, twice-a-week, and 14-times-a-week customers and try to thank them in this small way. But if you ask some other franchisees they’ll say “all of our regulars avoid coming in because it’s so busy and we only see the people who come in on the birthday only.” What are they noticing?
The thing is they’re not incorrect, once you get past the hyperbole, that there are people that come in once a year on this day and that’s it. The Jewish leaders weren’t incorrect about the law saying you can’t carry something heavier like a mat on the sabbath. Yet, noticing what is worth celebrating versus noticing what is degrading causes a huge momentum shift in your life.
You’re at your child’s valentine’s party at school and you can notice that your child isn’t the fastest reader when they are all reading a page of a book or that your child sweetly converses with all of his classmates and seem to have a strong bond with the people in the classroom.
You can notice that your sales team didn’t hit the metric for the quarter, or notice that they know each of their customers in a way that those customers would never leave you because of the level of service you provide.
I’ve discovered that I always replay what I noticed at any given event, and I’ve had to train myself to notice what I’m noticing. It’s easy to notice the things that need correcting, and oftentimes those things are worthy of making a note and moving on. It’s difficult to notice where things are thriving and worthy of celebrating, but it’s a lot more fun to notice and replay the positive side of things.
This crippled man would have carried a hundred mats if they were around, because he was waiting for this day for 38 years! He didn’t care that it was on the 1 day of 7 that he shouldn’t be carrying a mat.
Mentioning what is worthy of celebration in your teammates goes a long long way, and will likely lead to them mentioning something worthy of celebration in you that you’ve been un-noticing for a while.