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Understanding Your Organizational Foundation
What are you founded on?
Jay Wolf, founder of Hope Heals, continually asks himself and his team: What are we founded on? It’s not just a question for your organization, but also one to answer in your personal life regarding family, friends and relationships. There are risks in not knowing your foundation; on the other hand, when you fully understand and embrace your foundation, you are better equipped to face obstacles and challenges. Are you confident in your foundation personally and professionally?
One of the great questions in our lives continues to be, "What are we founded on?" Not just for our organization, but in my marriage, in our personal lives, in our family. What is the foundation of all of this? When we got married, my dad, who is a pastor, kind of gave this question, this charge over us, out of the book of Matthew in the bible, there is this parable, "The storms of life are coming, so are you going to found your house on the rock or the sand?" because when the storms come, the house that's on the sand will surely fall, but the one on the rock will be able to weather those storms. At first we were like, "Where's the love chapter, Dad? Storms? For the wedding?” But that question really reverberated throughout the history of our early marriage. Actually, just three and a half years after we were married we faced the greatest storm of our lives. My wife suffered this massive stroke and that question, "What are we founded on?" in the midst of this great storm, like, “Are we founded on something that is going to help us withstand?” Yet as our organization and our lives have continued that question is still relevant, as relevant today as it was years ago. There's no quota on suffering, and the storms, and the trials that we might face, whether as individuals, or as an organization. As we continue to grow there's always sort of room for growing pains, much less just huge storms to come up in our lives. The question remains, “What are we founded on? What are we anchored in?” The perils of not knowing what you're founded in, are pretty clear, and they're pretty profound. If we really don't know what is holding us secure, then tomorrow may well be the end if we're facing a storm. Really, when we're anchored and we're founded in something transcendent, that doesn't mean we're sort of not engaging the pain, and the loss, and the conflict that's all around us. Quite the opposite, really. We're able to engage it, but in confidence know that it's not going to destroy us, or crush us. So it does matter. It matters that we tell ourselves, that we tell our organizations, that we tell those who are following us, “No matter what we are stepping into, it's going to be okay because we have a foundation that is going to help us. No matter if there’s the biggest storm that we've ever faced as an organization, as a family, as an individual, we’re going to be able to step into that with confidence because the foundation that we've spent all this time preparing and laying. We're not doing it after the storm, we're preparing before. It's easy to overlook sort of that work that goes into it in preparation and yet, that's the only way to weather the storms of life.”
Jay Wolf is the co-founder of Hope Heals, a ministry created to steward the story of Jay and his wife, Katherine.
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