The distance to the goal had dropped from double numbers to single digits. This was good news! As I reviewed the metrics that went along with the crucial measurement, everything looked good! Every measure was better than its predecessor, except one. It had to be an anomaly.
My regular progress check in on Friday seemed different. I knew I was struggling to find something, anything that I could point to as evidence. Everything seemed to be consistent with day before and the days before that. As I reviewed the dashboard, nothing made sense! Everything was off. It was as if the last four progress reports had never occurred. Everything took a step back, nothing was as it was, what I thought we had achieved not seemed unreal.
I have no magical answer to the numbers. They are what they are. I do know how much work had been put in. I participated – putting my all into forward progress. Serious sweat was left on the table! Long hours committed and delivered. New milestones were achieved, right?
Perhaps I am looking at this from the wrong perspective. I can only control what I do. If I bring my best to the table, deliver time, effort, heart, sweat, and at times tears, then I have done what I can do. While arbitrary measurements matter, they are not the ultimate measure of our progress.
Life reminds me that things are not always how and what they appear to be. When you see that the “Kings of the armies are on the run, on the run!” (Psalm 68.12) Is it good news or bad? How do you know? Are you looking at the moment at hand or the larger story?
It is hard to always see the bigger story. Even when my heart knows it inside and out, my heart struggles to embrace its reality. It is in the darkest of these moments when I remind myself that I am not the author of the story, just a character in it. It is time to focus on living. Priority one.