Reach New Heights in 2020 by Building Your Ladders
Take a look at the picture below, freshly snapped from my backyard. Most of us have one of these. Maybe it's a storage building like mine, or an attic, or a closet, or all three! You know what I'm talking about: a space designed to hold things that matter, turned into a catch-all for every conceivable thing imaginable. As it gets full, it becomes less functional and less practical. Does this sound familiar to anyone? In our case, the shed became so packed with things, that none of us could get inside of it, or even identify half of what was there.
Is your full storage space a metaphor for your life? It certainly was in our case. Sommer and I had been talking for months about how full our life was getting. We said "yes" to so many things, and just packed it in the schedule. At a certain point, it became an iCalendar filled with appointment dots, month after month. Life felt too busy, because it was. An over abundance of obligation seemed like it was taking the joy out of the purest blessings in our lives, because it was. Change was needed. And yet, we found it hard to get started.
Has your present circumstance kick started the process? In terms of daily obligations, it seems like this COVID-19 crisis has dumped most of our storage shed belongings all over the backyard. Many of the things that kept us so busy have ceased to exist at the moment. While many of us still go to work, some do not. No students are attending classes in schools or universities. There are no sporting events to attend: not in the big leagues or the little. Eating out and shopping have ceased. Social gathering are prohibited. We aren't even able to gather in worship service with God's people! That storage building of yours, representing your time usage, obligations and appointments, is hollowed out for the time being.
How can you take advantage of this situation? Let me see if the story of our actual storage shed can help. Step one was to empty it out, and truly assess what had been piled in there. Step two was to start a trash pile. It was not as large as I had hoped, so we went back through all the piles we had created and trimmed them. Step three was to put back only the things that truly mattered, organized much more efficiently. Step four was to leave room between all the areas for our family to fit in the space, and play there and get use out of it.
Okay, so here is how that can work for you right now in your life. Step one - while most things aren't going full steam, make a list of the categories of life that were filling up your time: church, school, work, recreation, service, etc. Step two - start a trash pile. What are some things you were doing that just don't belong. Also, go back through each category and see if there is room to trim certain parts of it, to make more room. Step three - as our country opens back up again, start putting things back one at a time, prioritizing the things that mattered the most (like worship!) and spacing them out better. Step four - appreciate free time, or free space, you are able to create, because that is where you can fit in quality time with your family! In fact, wouldn't you say you've started doing some great things with your family over these past two months or so. Make sure there is room in the space for those things to continue when we get back to our new, and improved, version of "normal."
Would you like a little practice? Remember when I asked you if you had a full storage shed, attic, or closet? Well, why don't you start there? Start by emptying out a space, and transforming it into something valuable for its function, not just for how much it can hold. While you do this, consider your life, your calendar, your schedule and your obligations. Consider the unique opportunity you have to put your social life back together as you choose. Rebuild your life, transforming it into something valuable for what it does, not just how much it can hold.
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