How do you handle distractions?
Personally, I am a planner. I like to keep my calendar and to-do list organized. Now, I am a believer in the idea that I need to control those tools (and others), rather than letting them control me, but the reality is that I like having my day(s) organized.
Beyond the day(s), I like to have my life fairly ordered. I can be flexible, but I do like the stability of how I have structured my week. And beyond organizing my time and tasks, I also organize my scheduled lessons, whether that is what I will preach or teach at church, what I am planning to write on this blog, what I expect to produce for my podcast, etc.
But as these past few months (and weeks) have shown us, we must be flexible. For instance, a few weeks ago, I stated that I was preparing to do an update on my series from the old blog site on how the 4Ls interact with my vision, mission, and strategy. That was just three weeks ago. But since then, many things have changed, and thus so did the intended topic for this blog.
But today, I am preparing to restart the update of that series. Although it has only been a few years since I hashed out my thoughts, I have grown, and have a better understanding of who I am, who God wants me to be, and what He wants from me.
Of course, as I said last month, some of that comes from the idea that I am now 50 years old and need to capitalize even more intently on the life ahead of me, knowing that more of this life is behind me than is in front of me. It is time to be even more intentional in passing something to the next generation (or what Erikson called the stage of Generativity vs Stagnation).
So, I prepare to start down that path again, knowing that the issues of the day certainly demand our attention and I may need to interrupt the upcoming series again. But if I know my target, I have a better chance of hitting it. But I also must know where I am. In other words, I cannot get to where I want to go, if I do not know my starting point.
Let me share an example. From a geographic standpoint, we can travel many different directions to get to a destination. For instance, if I want to see my children, I can drive about two hours southwest. But if my current location was a few hundred miles south of here, then I would need to go in a different direction to see my children. Or, from here, I could drive north to an airport, and fly east all the way around the world. This last option may be irrational, but it would achieve my goal with enough time and money.
So, we must not only know where we desire to go, but where we are as well. And even in the midst of these last couple of weeks where I have deviated from what I had expected to post, I have been reminded of some old (and learned some new) ideas that help me to better know who I am (my starting point).
Thus, as I prepare to move forward from here, I am better equipped to do so. I am also better prepared to know that I can shift to another idea when necessary – a detour does not need to be a derailment.
So, next week, Lord willing, I will pick up where I intended to start a few weeks ago. My encouragement to you in the meantime is to consider not only where you want to go, but take time to make sure you know where – that is, who – you are. Taking that time now can help prepare you to make the most of the days ahead.