Its now been nearly a year and a half since Tim Challies started his series of blog posts on productivity. The beginning of that series of articles was a new chapter in my own personal growth. I knew that my life needed a great deal of growth in the areas of discipline and productivity, and so I took that as my opportunity to try and tidy things up. As I look back, its amazing to me how long it has taken to really see some of the deeper fruit of change. And yet, I also realize that the lessons I am learning are foundational and will stick with me for a long time. The first is one that I have already written about. It is this: that real change takes time. Today I want to take it a step further. Continue reading
There come times when it seems like the speed of progress in life is turned up a few notches. We face many new horizons. The road gets steeper, exposing new valleys and new peaks. These are times when we are pushed out of autopilot mode and forced to be a bit more conscious of our pace and direction. We can stroll down the road, or we can run it. We can take the road down or the road up. The mountains seem exciting when viewed from far away. But when it comes time for making the ascent, the glory seems to vanish. Aching muscles. Bloody bruises. Burning lungs. Sweat and dirt.
We start to realize that the climb itself is not as glorious as we imagined.
By far, my favorite season of the year is fall. Summer comes to a close, with all its freedoms and adventures. Nature sheds its green coat in a period of glorious golden surrender and gears up for another trek through the winter. Another year comes our way.
It is simultaneously the season of reward and renewal. We reap the fruits of our labors. We look back at our work. We set new directions and begin new chapters. It is a time of vibrant colors, flavors and warm conversations. More than any other time of year, fall seems to be the time that causes me to reflect on the reality of progress and movement in my life.
Progress is something that I think about a great deal. Nothing is more terrible to me than the notion of a wasted life, of wasted opportunities. Here are two mighty lessons I have learned lately on this issue.
I think that people who don’t do much journaling or writing often look at those who do and think, “Gosh, lucky for them it comes so easily. They just have a way with words.” Recently I was trying to encourage a close brother in arms in his labors. He seemed to be communicating the point that because it is hard, then he wasn’t built for it.
In the course of our conversation I myself began to realize that, the fact that writing is hard work is actually the whole point. The process of writing is a quest for clarity on something that we think we already understand. Its a fight to own that which we think we understand. It is quite inevitable that this path will be a challenge. It will require the twisting and turning of our perspective. It will require us to see things from new angles.
The Power of Determination
One of the most important and most determining aspects of he our lives is our understanding of how we fit into the world in which we live. The clarity with which one sees their purpose and place in life will determine their ability to focus on and flourish in that purpose. A life that is distracted by a great deal of many things and pulled in multiple directions is a life that does not really accomplish much.