I love to tell the story about how Henry Kissinger would not accept the work of his people until they had done multiple revisions. He would send them away time after time until they were exasperated and said that they could not do any better. It was then that he would accept their work and read it or send it forward. In our age of immediacy we don’t do lots of pre-writes or rewrites or have others edit our work before it goes forward. We shoot emails to the CEO or the Board, or to our bosses, from an original thought and many times those thoughts aren’t really finished and we end up having to go back and rework from a place of being admonished or embarrassed or just corrected. How much better it is when we “prefinish” our work before we take it forward. It takes discipline and thought to prepare something ahead of time that when brought forward it is already ready to go. I wouldn’t want to count the number of times I have still been scrambling at the last minute to bring it all together on a project. While it may all come together at the last minute, the work could definitely be better if it was prefinished. Solomon gave us an example of the importance of prefinishing when he was building the first Temple to the Lord. In 1 Kings 6:7 we read; “The stones used in the construction of the Temple were prefinished at the quarry, so the entire structure was built without the sound of hammer, ax, or any other iron tool at the building site.” Last month I used this verse to demonstrate how going about our work quietly can be a good thing. This verse also show me the power in prefinishing and the errors that can be alleviated, the conflicts that can be avoided and the waste that can be eliminated. And maybe most importantly, the reverence that is demonstrated by the thoughtful planning, the priority setting, and the commitment to be done ahead of time. Today, try prefinishing something and see how much easier everything falls into its place when it is time.
Reference: 1 Kings 6:7 (New Living Testament)