Foundation – Part 1 “The Cornerstone”

HJ Petro christ on the cross

The Foundation

H&J Petroleum Management & Consulting, LP was founded upon its core values of Faith, Safety, Integrity, Education, and Excellence.  In a previous post (About Us Post), I gave a short summary of what that means to us as a company.  In the next 5 part series, I will be expanding on how these core values will help define our future and exactly what they mean to me.

Part 1 – The Cornerstone

Last year when oil was about $100/bbl and it didn’t seem like there was enough time in a day for all of my responsibilities to my family, work and self.  I was contemplating the joy of new life I have experienced through the birth of my son and pregnancy with my daughter and the pain of life ending on this earth through the loss of a couple of very dear friends.  It was during this time that I had a conversation with my mom.  We were discussing how I felt like I had a hard time gaining any traction.  Her words spoke volumes to me. “Son, it’s a rat race.  You can’t catch up.”

As I have grown older, and like many others who are fortunate enough to reach a certain point in life, I have had to face my own mortality.  Since I graduated from college my economic success has surpassed even my wildest expectations, but at times that has been at a cost to my family, myself, and to my Lord. Due to the business of the moment and the stress of trying to find some balance in my life, when my mother mentioned a rat race, I immediately pictured myself as a hamster on a wheel.  The loss of close friends and having children over the last several years had a profound effect on my view of the world.  Over the next several months, and even today “The Rat Race Conversation” has lead me to search my heart and soul, wondering what legacy I may leave behind.

I grew up my entire life going to church.  It seemed every time the doors were open we were there.  I went on mission trips and church camps and they are some of the fondest memories of my youth.  Naturally, as I grew older I began to question some of the things that I had been taught in the particular denomination that I grew up in and come to the conclusion that parts of what I was taught are simply wrong.  However, my church did teach me were to look for the answers.  I was able to discern many of the false teaching by studying the Bible.  The biggest lie I was lead to believe was that there were a certain set of rules that we as Christians must abide by in order to escape the flames of hell.  And while I believe that if you are a follower of Jesus Christ it will change your life and you will act differently, I have learned that the only thing that has saved my from the flames of hell and granted me a seat at the feast of my Father is that Jesus Christ died for me as a sacrifice for my sins.  It is only through Him I am saved.  I have learned there are not enough good works in this world I can do to earn my own salvation.  And probably even more difficult for me to comprehend, there is nothing I can do as a Christian to separate me from God and my salvation.

So when I really thought about the legacy I wanted to leave behind on this earth, it does not matter if I drilled the fastest well, made the most money, or any myriad of other potential accomplishments in my career.  What I want people to say about me when I am gone is that I was a good husband and father, a good leader, and most importantly, that others came to know God through me.

Now I have had to ask myself how H&J Petroleum Management & Consulting fits into the legacy we will leave behind.  Faith is the cornerstone upon which the remaining foundation of our company is built upon.

I like Wikipedia’s definition of cornerstone:

The cornerstone (or foundation stone) concept is derived from the first stone set in the construction of a masonry foundation, important since all other stones will be set in reference to this stone, thus determining the position of the entire structure.”

 I personally cannot think of a better definition for what my Faith in God means to our company.

Our Faith is in Jesus Christ, is that He alone has saved us through His death and blood on a cross, and He guides us through this life.  It reminds us that our ultimate reward is not on this earth.  It tells again that the things we do to get ahead in this world are meaningless and without eternal value.  Through the teachings of scripture, my faith provides guidance on how I should conduct myself.  While I will strive to meet those ideals I will fall short but that will be OK because He died for me.

My business is my ministry.  By professing my faith to others, treating people with love and respect, remembering and knowing that my current circumstances are only temporary, and that there is another life that is eternal, I hope and pray that others can come to know God through me and through their interactions with H&J Petroleum Management & Consulting.

Faith allows me to jump off of the hamster wheel that life can often times become and provide a purpose and help shape the legacy I hope to leave.  It provides hope for the future and gives me comfort that the things I strive for today will not be buried with me but will live on for eternity.  I have Faith that God will be with me and it is through him I live.

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