I like to get where I am going. Once the destination is known, I begin to ignore the steps that will come before I arrive. Even though I know the process is not healthy, I find myself pursuing the goal without consideration for the phases that will safely get me there. I forget to go through my checklist for the journey. I ignore the lessons of yesterday. I am pushing myself to avoid the “are we there yet” question.
Life is not about getting to a destination. Life is about the journey. Life is filled with stages, each important in its own way. The process of how we experience the steps is the essence of living.
As I watch the changing political and business climate unfold, it seems that everyone is in a rush to a destination. I long to hear how the plans will unfold; even more than the promise of a euphoric new world. There seems to be little historical context to our plans. What about the lessons of 1929 or 1907? What about the steps that others have taken in down cycles? Are we interested in checkpoints along the way to ensure we can take corrective action if needed? In the enthusiasm to fix what is wrong, the focus is on a end-state and not on how we get there.
There are alternative models for us to consider. “From out of David's descendants God produced a Savior for Israel, Jesus, exactly as he promised—but only after John had thoroughly alerted the people to his arrival by preparing them for a total life-change.” (Acts 13.23) There are steps, stages, and process – even for God.
Traditional planning methodologies have shown that a phased approach, incrementally small, achievable, and validated at each step, works. In my experience, the process infuses participants and watchers with confidence and hope. Each success builds on the past and provides a foundation for building a consensus on any corrective actions.
In the midst of our chaotic changing world, we can be intentional. We have freedom and opportunity.