When you get to a certain point in your life…
Have you ever looked over your shoulder to determine why you feel the way you do? Surely, it’s a sickness, busy schedule, mental challenge, or even an unfulfilled existence. You cannot put your finger on why you feel the way you do, but you know there is a reason for it!
For the past several weeks we have enjoyed some down time. It’s been busy, and with its own kind of pressure its been enjoyable. Family. Travel. R&R. Maybe not exactly what the doctor would have ordered, but definitely the things you know you need to do. Responsibility.
This morning I awoke early (4am), and then napped (3 hours), and find myself asking… Why? What’s the point? Where to from here? What’s my goal? How do I get there? What’s the next step? You know, all those fuzzy headed questions that arise when you’ve not been feeling right.
To my credit, the past 10 days have been some of the rottenest days of not feeling well. I picked up something in Texas. Head. Throat. Chest. High fever. Yet, a schedule I still needed to maintain. Even today, I’m feeling better but my strength has not recovered. Now is not the time to react to life, rather, it’s the time to refresh yourself for the challenge that faces you after these few days are past.
So. I plan. I challenge my plan. I review it. Adjust it. Think it through. Agonize over it. Then polish it. Set a start date. Get all the action items lined out. Set another different date. Then patiently recover.
While thinking this through I imagined those in centuries past who could not actively communicate with the necessary players in their ministry or task. It was a long time of writing, waiting and waiting for a response to come. There was nothing super quick. The further the distance, the more time it took. Dangers along the way may even create further adversity of getting the information through.
Even worse, during this long time of communication, situations change and that causes new and different actions!
Jesus taught a parable about counting the cost of being involved as a true disciple.
For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not sit down first and count the cost, whether he has enough to finish it— lest, after he has laid the foundation, and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish.’ (Luke 14:28-30 NKJV)
Before you do, you plan. And planning includes counting the cost of the proposed action and ensuring that there is sufficient money to pay for the building.
You take account of the resources in reserve. Are there enough? I think about cost overrun’s. Can we absorb the potential higher cost? Where do we get additional funds? Are we planning for too big a campaign?
In the very next few verses, Jesus even challenged his listeners to think differently about involvement.
Or what king, going to make war against another king, does not sit down first and consider whether he is able with ten thousand to meet him who comes against him with twenty thousand? Or else, while the other is still a great way off, he sends a delegation and asks conditions of peace. (Luke 14:31-32 NKJV)
Total Commitment. War is destructive. It takes an attitude of commitment like those Musketeers of old, “All for one! One for all!” Ensure you are all in, and you have the necessary resources at hand before you take on such a challenge.
This is a major point to consider. With marriage, or buying a house. Are you totally committed to success? Do your plans reflect it? Do you have the end game in mind? Can you handle diversions?
This may be a weird thought, but I think too many people get involved with things without an ending in mind. Before you take a class, go on a trip, or begin working a particular career – what will the ending of your involvement look like?
Take a planning moment. Step back from your intended direction. Plan for it. Can you do it? Does it work out for you?
When Noah began building the ark, his end game was something he never could have understood. Flood. Rain. Total destruction. Yet, God gave him plans and for over 100 years he had the long game in mind. Finish the plan. He never considered life after the plan. His little brain could not think that far, nor could his imagination understand what the world would be like. Still, he followed the plan.
This is what we need to do. Have a plan. Follow the plan. Complete the plan….