Pocket Change

Omar Aleman, Aleman and Associates

What is the big deal about having a mission statement? I suppose it depends on the type of mission and who is making the statement. Abraham was commissioned to leave his country and people and travel to an undesignated land where he would become the founder of a new nation. Moses was selected to lead the Jewish people out of slavery in Egypt and take them to the Promised Land. Jesus took upon himself the mission of dying for our sins on the cross, and through repentance and faith in him, it would open the way for mankind to experience eternal life in Heaven. Given the source of the statement, there was no possibility of an aborted mission since the marching orders came directly from God the Father.


Corporate mission statements

changeThese are but three of the numerous “missions” delineated in Scripture. Given our relationship with God, it would stand to reason that we as Christians should design a mission statement pursuant to our life purpose while sojourning on earth. For instance, two of the most popular Christian-led businesses in this country have statements that comport to their public image. Hobby Lobby aims to honor the Lord in their company operations by providing a return on the owners’ investments and sharing the Lord’s blessings with their employees while crediting their success to God’s grace and provision. The Chick-fil-A statement of corporate purpose reads “to glorify God by being a faithful steward of all that is entrusted to us and to have a positive influence on all who come in contact with the company.” In both cases, they are closed on Sundays, for “if it takes seven days to make a living, then we need to be in another line of work.”


Defining our identity

Why the importance of honing in on our talents, expectations, purpose and legacy as we toil as God’s ambassadors? As we face a world of skepticism, lack of values and no moral compass, it is our responsibility to truly know our identity and reasonable expectations for our life. This has been quite difficult for me, given that I spent more than three decades trying to decipher how, and if, government works. Many government agencies are rudderless, for they fail to understand their rudimentary identity. One would think that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), which exists through the auspices of taxpayers, would be sensitive to the last word of their designation. Correctional Officers are responsible for the supervision, care, custody, control and physical restraint of inmates; some view this as temporary housing for the incorrect. As a Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) special agent, I witnessed high levels of enforcement experience in our personnel coupled with a lack of understanding about the effects of drugs in our society.


The secret

Many years ago, as I facilitated the Grief Share Program at our church, a certain gentleman who had just lost his spouse of 51 years came to us. Despite the pain and loneliness that he was suffering, there was a distinct aura of peace about him. One Saturday afternoon, as we prepared to start our weekly session, a discussion ensued about his positive attitude despite the negative circumstances. He then revealed that he carried the secret of his contentment in his back pocket. My expectation was for him to share a photograph of his deceased wife or his grandkids. Instead, he brandished his “mission statement”, a plastic card the size of a driver’s license. It read “He has shown you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justly, to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God”, a direct quote of Micah 6:8. His purpose in life was overwhelming in its simplicity. His identification was not given to him by the state but by His Maker. The credit belonged not to Visa but to Jesus. And the holy currency he carried made him a rich man beyond his wildest dreams. He knew who he was, who he worked for, his purpose in life and his destination. What’s in your wallet?

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