We are now on the third project, one right after each other, with the same goal. The requirements have not moved. With each start, everyone has agreed on the specifics. The details are specified and, with each launch, affirmed as being understood.
The first project produced nothing. The second project produced a lengthy bit of analysis, however, no deliverables matching the requirements. As we begin to launch the third version, I find myself considering alternatives. Metaphorically, I am a sailor considering my future. I already know where I am. “It was not the best harbor for staying the winter. Phoenix, a few miles further on, was more suitable.” (Acts 27.11) I wonder if I know why I am drawing this conclusion.
When something is difficult, it is natural to consider something, anything different. What we know dictates exploring what we do not. Our second project went through more scrutiny than the first, however the outcome was just as problematic. We committed ourselves to doing things different, and in hindsight followed the same path with a bit more shouting. As we move towards the third attempt, something must change.
I continue to miss the obvious. The destination is less important than the way I get there. I am not suggesting that goals do not matter, they do. Knowing where one is trying to go determines the direction. I am suggesting that the process of moving from where you are is equally important. It is in the process that we have missed the obvious.
The missing element centers on a commitment to look honestly at the present. Am I closer to my goal now that I have moved? Did the change match expectations? The important element is not the change itself. It is in understanding the why and how.
In a community, living in the present is difficult. Fears draw us to the past. Uncertainties can make it difficult to look at life as it is. When we understand where we are, we sit with an opportunity to take an intentional step towards where we want to be.