Where does one start with the task seems overwhelming? What if the only view is filled with unknowns? Does this make it even worse? Does one focus on a plan even if there is no plan? It is easy to lose one’s grip on hope. Headaches and emotional paralysis are frequent reactions. Is there an ideal first step?
I grew up in a family that simply went to work. No matter what one felt, discipline called for action. One started by working on the foundation and took one step at a time. The plan would emerge as the building blocks came into focus. In hindsight, I am not sure this approach is a sustainable model.
With age and experience, I find the following steps are helpful.
Reflect on the resources and insights that are at hand. Make sure you know your starting point. You may feel better living in the world of your imagination, but it is not going to help you get to your destination.
Always remember that there are more options than the ones that you can see. Listen with an open mind. Be prepared and ready to act. In this context, look twice and then again.
Let others help. Far too often I tried to take on the impossible. Sharing the load, including the option of letting God do God’s things, should be an alternative of choice.
Imagine a perfect outcome. Visualize and explore what it looks like. See others as well as yourself in this context.
Reflect again and only then plan. Taking the time to plan is a good investment. What seems urgent may wait. Alternatively, what seems casually important may need to be done today.
As I look over my list, I realize Paul was onto something. “Just think—you don’t need a thing, you’ve got it all! All God’s gifts are right in front of you as you wait expectantly for our Master Jesus to arrive on the scene for the Finale.” (1 Corinthians 1.7) We have freedom within. We can be a difference – to others and for ourselves.