Paralysis and the Mindset Of Lack
In the course of unpacking God’s gifts, one thing I see over and over are people on the verge on starting a path shown to them by God delaying that journey focusing on minutiae. Yes, we want to be certain this path is what God is telling us and yes, we want to have a plan. On those two points, you and I are in violent agreement, as the adage goes, “People don’t plan to fail, they fail to plan.”
Think about the last smartphone navigation you took from home. Chances are, you know the route from your home to at least the first few navigation points your phone provides, and it’s even more likely you blow off what your phone is suggesting for that part of the route because you know the way out of your neighborhood, and probably eschew the initial directions because you know a more convenient route.
In the instances where you don’t following the initial directions, what would happen if you did? Would you still get to your destination? Of course you would. The GPS directions to the first major point where you needed directions and your route from home to that point are two different paths. Reaching that point where your knowledge ends and you need directions is the goal. Two paths, same goal. Which is better?
Is that even the correct answer? Is that the question someone focused on the goal (and all things past that goal on the path) asks? If the objective is to hit that goal and get on the path God has shown you, the long-term view doesn’t spend a lot of time agonizing over the 1% of the start, the long-term view wants to get the start done so you can get to the good stuff! Either you are on the path or you are not.
Path or No Path
Either you’re on the path or you’re not. Planning to be on the path, while mandatory, is not being on the path. I look at it as pre-production for a film. When I was in pre-production for “The Trouble with TQ,” I did my fair share of planning, budgeting, outlining, researching, etc., and 90% of all of that went out the window the day of my first shoot for that film. Was the planning in vain? Absolutely not, believe me, the 10% of the pre-production planning that survived was GOLD! When I got to big decision points about the film, the choices that actually proved relevant saved me time and money.
None of the magic would have happened if I hadn’t gotten started. Actually doing the work, getting down and dirty showed me all I needed to know about what to do, just like the GPS voice. One thing small crew work teaches you is to automate certain tasks because you’ll be doing them a million times, so yes, the light kit has to be packed that way. Analysis is not decision making. Analysis may aid decision-making, but in the end decision-making is about gut instinct and following it. Because we all know what “gut instinct” is, right?
A Circle is Not a Path
Back to the GPS analogy. More than a few times I’ve “let” the GPS steer me in circles around where the GPS “thinks” an address is, versus the physical location. Late last year, I circled a development alongside a canal for twenty minutes, going to a worship team meeting, baffled. Finally, I parked, got out and started walking. I was out of the car less than 30 seconds before I could see exactly where the meeting was. I walked across the canal and boom, there it was, the practice space where we were meeting. A circle is not a path. When you’re in a rut, stop and get your bearings.
Underlying the Mindset Of Lack is self-doubt, a fear you are not good enough. Let your belief be your proof and praise the God from Whom all gifts come with the gifts bestowed on you. He did not bring you here to strand you. He didn’t bring you here to lose heart. He brought you here with everything you need to do, right now. Once you recognize the “chance” encounters that lead to the opportunities to share your gifts for what they are, create with a mindset not only of the expectation, but the manifestation of God’s will.