For every challenge I face, situation I want to be different, area of personal growth I need to address there is one crucial question that I must wrestle with before anything else can happen:
Am I willing to do ANYTHING differently?
This is the imperative first step.
It is not smooth. It is sometimes not pretty. The space in the middle…the time of wrestling…is not pleasant.
I hate it.
Let me be honest: I want life to be easy. Really, I do. I am not a fan of the fact that life is messy and complicated and requires hard work.
Lately I have been telling my kids, “Accept it now. Life is far more work than you’ll want it to be.”
Recently at a leadership meeting we were discussing a project that we have talked about at various times for a long time. It was something I really didn’t know how to move forward…I finally confessed it: “I have no idea how to get to the next step.”
We talked for a while and by the end we had a new strategy and new concepts. The ideas gave me chills. I am SO excited about it!
But in the moments between the not knowing and the genuinely ecstatic, do you know how I felt?
When I go in circles reliving thoughts and decisions that have not worked out well, I have no hope.
The willingness to do something differently, cracks my despair.
The chalkboard in my dining room says, “Keep looking for solutions.”
Walk with the wise and become wise, for the companion of fools suffers harm. Proverbs 13:20
In parenting, there is a more patient and purposeful path.
In marriage, I can choose to always believe the best about my hubby.
In ministry, I can rest in knowing the outcomes are up to God.
In faith, I can follow the Bible reading plan to get through the Bible in a year; and take that Bible Study that will stretch me.
In relationships, I can work to get better at cheering people on. (Do people I love know I am on their side?)
In politics, never mind. I got nothin’.
There are wonders to be held. Life is beautiful. But it is not now, nor ever will be, perfect. And as I work through the imperfections in family and in ministry, I am going to continue to make myself come back to that one crucial question: Am I willing to do anything differently…really?