Do you ever feel that crushing weight of “this is all too much?” I experienced this recently after a quick crescendo of competing priorities. It had been a week of long meetings and lots of potential new opportunities that left little room for important projects I wanted to do. I knew something needed to shift, but what? How?
First, I want to give credit to Dr. Tony Evans for sparking the content of these ideas in his book Pathways. That book and the study guide led to clarification around starting our TakeFlight division, so I knew it was a great resource for helping define priorities. I went back through my notes on the ideas presented by Dr. Evans and flipped them into questions to help me determine which projects to decline and which ones to press into with greater fervor. We can’t do it all—any “yes” is a “no” to something else, so we must prioritize.
8 Discerning Questions
These are the questions I asked myself to help define my priorities and decide the best action on new opportunities.
- Does it advance the Kingdom agenda?
- Does it leverage my abilities, experience, and any influence I may have?
- Is it solely for personal gain, or does it transform or help others?
- Is it about being a blessing or being blessed?
- Does it help others suffering in some way?
- How much fruit will come from this effort? What have I seen already?
- Is there a risk or a step of faith I need to take?
- What recent events offer spiritual insights about my future?
Sometimes when you are in so deep, you can feel blinded as you try to sort through it all. It’s like looking out our windows in the morning on very hot and humid days — there is so much condensation that all I can see are fuzzy images. But after the sun rises and the water evaporates, I can see the details of the beautiful world He created.
Often it takes some heat to create enough pressure for us to look deeper. That is what happened after I felt the intensity of the stress and asked myself these questions. That pressure made me look deeper, and then the anguish dissipated and peace came again.
As I reflected on my priorities, it was obvious that I must continue to make time to write. People respond when I share how to live out their Kingdom focus in the business world. My current business projects are transformative, and Patrick and I are in a place like never before to help married couples. Marriage is hard and so important to God, and we have tools to help, so that’s something that will continue as well.
I also realized some new business requests, while financially lucrative, would do little to transform others. As a small business, it’s hard to turn down a new opportunity. Doubt creeps in and you wonder, what if this income will be needed later this year or next year? The faith step I needed to take was remembering God is our ultimate provider and trusting Him to supply the business – He always has.
As I asked myself these questions, the haze cleared from the window and the view became crystal clear again. When we remove whatever is blurring our vision, our choices are framed in light and decisions become clear. Then it becomes time to boldly execute on those decisions.
These questions are better asked along the way rather than when we hit bottom, but sometimes things shift so fast (three days in my recent situation) that there is little time to reflect. Whether you’re asking them along the way or after a rapid journey down, I hope these questions provide you with a tool to use to clear your vision and see the path ahead.