The answer to life’s most complicated issues is normally found in a place of simplicity. This simplicity is available even if you live in the midst of a cluttered calendar or find yourself in a time of life where the demands placed on you by other people feels like you are being pulled in ten different directions. There is a solution. That solution will come when you learn where to position yourself in the midst of all the clutter and demands.
Recently, I went fishing. I got skunked but it was worth it just to get away and slow down. It was one of those early summer mornings when a t-shirt and shorts felt just right. When I arrived at the lake, I hiked down to the water’s edge to find a place to toss out my bait and wait for a fish to take my offering. There was a problem. From the edge of the shore out for about 50 feet was a mass of logs and other woody debris. The surface of the lake had become a floating carpet of logs, branches, and twigs. All this debris had been scattered up and down the dirt shoreline after a few years of drought-like conditions. When the rains finally returned last winter, the woody debris was collected from the dry shoreline by the rising waters to create the logjam I was seeing. All the debris had been pushed by the wind to the edge of the lake where I stood. It was virtually impossible to fish.
After a few minutes, I returned to my truck realizing my fishing expedition might be short-lived. From the parking lot, I surveyed the lake. I noticed the wind had blown the debris to my current location so I drove around to the opposite side of the lake and there was zero debris. It was perfect. I experienced a clear lake surface with no debris in sight.
If your life has become too complicated and filled with the debris of demands and expectations, you need to change your place on your emotional lake. Answer the following four questions. I ask them of over-stressed pastors and leadership teams who are sensing a change of direction is coming but don’t know how to begin the process of change. Here are the four questions:
What do I like about what I am doing?
What do I not like about what I am doing?
What do I want to keep?
What do I want to get rid of?
Ask those four question honestly and you may find a way out of your debris into the clear water of a new season. It will be a great place to live once you arrive and experience its simplicity.