Projects have a way of expanding their scope. No matter how simple it seems, you always end up doing more than you expect. Even with a crispy articulated, defined start and finish, the middle ends up larger than anyone thought was possible. In the shop, the change usually comes down to idealism or something one simply missed. Experience helps, but the problem rarely disappears. Extra eyes and minds helps, however the problem likes to find its home with all of us. Even detailed planning does not eliminate the root. At its best, planning merely helps us identify the change earlier.
I am in the middle of a big project. I would like to believe I know the full scope, but this clearly is not the case. I want to hold onto the original commitment, yet I know it continues to grow and change. I hope the team is up to the challenge. As the borders and scope evolve, changing in ways anticipated and not, I know my team includes partners, affiliates, and associates. As I review our progress, if I am going to be successful, I must “get the other nations out here and ready. Let's see what they have to say about this, how they account for what's happened. Let them present their expert witnesses and make their case; let them try to convince us what they say is true.” (Isaiah 43.9)
Far too often, I find myself defining the boundaries of my community in ways that are too small, constrained, and confined. We are part of a large family. We share links that are difficult to imagine. We can help each other. Our goals share far more in common than they do differences. Our differences do not always tear at each other; they can actually work to strengthen the path each follows.
Life’s borders can be bridges to a greater world. Life’s boundaries can point of to opportunities. The scope of our challenge will always be in constant motion. The one constant is God and our opportunity to work with and for each other.
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