Time to Think
“Here is Edward Bear, coming downstairs now, bump, bump, bump, on the back of his head, behind Christopher Robin. It is, as far as he knows, the only way of coming downstairs, but sometimes he feels that there really is another way, if only he could stop bumping for a moment and think of it. . .” (Winnie the Pooh, A.A. Milne)
I get good ideas sometimes. At least I think they’re good ideas. They make me smile. They create a flutter of excitement. Sometimes I write them down. Most of the time, however, I file them away in the recesses of my brain, usually never to be seen again. They get buried under routine and and the urgent “now” events. Too often I never get around to exploring the viability of the ideas that made me smile.
Sometimes I get discouraged when things at work or in my personal life stay the same. There are so many changes I’d like to see, to implement, to explore. And I’ll get to them – after my to do list is checked off (like that ever happens), after I take care of this latest interruption (like the “urgent” text message I just received from my daughter), and after the latest fire has been put out (if I don’t get that barking dog of mine back inside right away the neighbor is going to throw poison over the fence but the crazy critter won’t leave the frog he’s chasing and come back in – be back in a few . . .)
Ok. The dog’s back in. Where was I?
Oh – ideas. I’ve come to the conclusion that the only hope I have for change, for exploring new possibilities, for improving my leadership at work and at home, is if I schedule some time just to think. No computer. The lure of Facebook, Twitter, and my blog feed is too strong for me to resist. No phone. Nothing to interrupt. Just time and space. Paper and pencil. Maybe some inspiring music. (Suggestions anyone?)
It’s time to step back to look at the entire forest, not being blinded by the individual trees. It’s time to see how much of the daily and weekly routine is getting me where I want to go and how much is just keeping me mired in the same old stuff.
What if . . .?
What would it look like to . . .?
Where do I want to be (where do I want my church to be) this time next year? In 5 years?
What’s really important?
Who can help me accomplish ____?
What makes me feel alive? Happy? Inspired?
I’ll never know the answers to these questions unless I stop bumping for a moment and think.