Most people I know hate checkpoints. I do not know that I hate them, however I will admit that I do not always like them. I know I am doing a good job, so why stop and evaluate the obvious? I know there is at least one action that could be improved on. Yet, stopping to review the situation takes time. Inevitably it slows things down. So, what is the point?
The reality is that we do not like bad news. Even if I am confident that the project is on track, our processes are robust, slowing down for a checkpoint causes me to pause. What if I missed something? What happens if somebody decides to take a cheap shot at our plan? Will we lose our momentum? Could things be disrupted?
The irony is that all great projects have checkpoints. All plans have milestones. Lives have moments of reflection. Confidence comes when one knows that one has succeeded. Checkpoints are opportunities to celebrate. They are also moments where one learns and discovers opportunities to grow.
Even if we want to avoid them, dark nights are moments where life gifts us with reflection. In those moments one knows that “the inspection will be thorough and rigorous. You [I] won’t get by with a thing.” (1 Corinthians 3.13) We can deny, but we know. We can try to think of something else, but the truth will still be here.
As I think of recent checkpoints, I find myself appreciating their value. Audits affirm that areas that we are doing well (celebration time) and areas where we can grow. Project reviews give everyone confidence in the progress that the team has made while opening up new doors for doing more. Reflection gives us the opportunity to see compassion and mercy working in our lives. It also provides a window to step beyond our limitations into something greater than what we are.
The storm outside reminds me of the turbulence that often comes with living. It also triggers a reflection that tells me I can be better than yesterday.