Monday, May 5, 2014

Lessons I've Learned While Mowing My Lawn.

I recently asked our ministry team a question -

“What’s the difference between maintenance, momentum and moving forward?”

I received several great responses. Here are the highlights -
  • Maintenance - the ongoing energy required to keep things functioning at the current levels.
  • Momentum - the residual energy from previous efforts.
  • Moving Forward - the intentional energy needed to raise the bar to a higher level.

The 2nd Law of Thermodynamics basically states that things left unattended tend to degrade. That means that we have to work just to keep the status quo. Let’s look at a simple example -

I mow my lawn 2-3 times each month in the summer. After a couple of weeks you can’t tell that I did anything. A couple of weeks later the place looks like a jungle. Let it go any longer and kids start to go missing. You have to work just to stay were you are at. It’s called ‘maintenance’. Now the first cut of the year always seems to take a little longer. I have to pick up branches that fell over the winter, spread fresh mulch and fertilizer and just to be honest I put off that first cut as long as possible. After that initial cut it gets easier as long as I stay on top of it. That’s called ‘momentum’. You are riding the wave of your past work. Momentum is a funny thing - it makes you look better than you really are when it is headed the right direction and worse than you really are when it’s against you. Here’s the deal, you can only ride it for so long before it starts to lose its effectiveness. Now if I want to get my yard ‘moving forward’ that’s a whole different deal altogether. I’ve got to come up with a plan, round up the troops, invest in some additional resources and get to work. A nice fire pit in the backyard would be a great addition to our home and a wonderful place to hang out with family and friends. No amount of maintenance or momentum is going to make that happen.

If we want to get our lives moving forward then it is going to take an intentional and additional effort compared to what we are currently doing. It’s the old adage, ‘you get out of life what you put into it.’ After I received all the responses I shot back a follow up email -

So which are you doing in -

Your walk with God?
Your marriage?
Your family?
Your ministry?
Your health?
Your wealth?

No response necessary but I would highly encourage you to wrestle with the answers for yourself.

You may find it to be a worthwhile exercise. I believe that God has great things in store for you. Jacob had to wrestle for his blessing (Genesis 32) and you might have to as well.

“The reason most people do not recognize an opportunity when they meet it is because it usually goes around wearing overalls and looking like Hard Work.” - Henry Dodd

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