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Wednesday, October 26, 2011

No short-cuts in a good plan


by Pam Roth 
A couple of years ago, we went on a walk with some friends.  They had been walking three miles for the longest time, but they wanted to break out of their routine and see if they could reach four miles.  My husband, Nelson, had a four-mile route that he walked under an hour, so they asked if he would be willing to share his walking routine with them.

When our friends arrived, they were greeted not only by Nelson and me, but also by our coonhound “granddog” – Adamena.  Well, just let me tell you this…people are not going on a walk without Ada.  She loves her walks and if you mention the word, you are committed because she is at the front door waiting on you.  Just before we took off, I suggested that the three of them get out ahead of us, so Ada and I could move at our own pace.  That ended up being a huge mistake because Ada really didn’t want a leisurely walk; she wanted to keep up with the rest of the “pack.” 

So, you can only imagine…my husband and our friends out ahead of us moving at quite a clip and me being dragged down the street by this 80 pound dog - barking and moving at a break-neck pace.  If we had only known how comical it was going to be, we could have videoed the whole thing and entered it into some contest or at least put it on YouTube. 

In an effort to distract Adamena, I decided that we would take a different route and eventually we would be ahead of the rest of the crew.  Unfortunately, as Robert Burns said in his poem, “the best laid plans of mice and men often go awry,” and so it was with my plan.  Instead of getting ahead of the three other walkers, we ended up catching up with them.  Of course, Ada was so excited to see Nelson.  She couldn’t wait to be invited to walk along with him for part of the final stretch towards home. 

Since the team was on a mission to complete the four miles under an hour, it wasn’t long before Nelson handed Adamena off to me, so as not to break their pace.  That’s when I had this thought… “I’m going to take this cut-through that takes you back out to the main street and try to get ahead of them.”  With the goal in mind, I quietly took a turn while the rest of them continued on a straight path.  At first, they did not notice that we had fallen out of rank and taken a short-cut; however, when they saw us out ahead of them, I heard one of them say, “So, that’s how it works…you take a short-cut to get out ahead.” 

Well, the whole incident quickly became the joke about taking “short-cuts” in our lives to get ahead.  But, I’m here to tell you that there are no real short cuts in the Christian life.  God has a plan already marked out for us and when we divert from that plan, things do not go as well as intended.  
  • Have you ever noticed how difficult something is when you try to “make it happen?”  Or perhaps, you have gotten off the path that God had designed for you and you are now living with the consequences of that decision.  So, if you are considering a short-cut right now, you may want to reconsider.  
  • What is God’s plan is for your life?  Perhaps the best route is to go forward and tunnel your way through instead of looking for a short-cut.

A good word… 
I Corinthians 10:12 & 13, “So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall! No temptation (testing) has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted (tested) beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted (tested), he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.”

Coaching Tip…
            How to avoid the temptation to take a short-cut

  • Know that God has a plan for your life
  • Recognize that you are “human” and things are going to happen
  • Understand that trying to avoid a situation, won’t change it
  • Realize that skirting (taking a short-cut) an issue only means that it will take longer to resolve it
  • Believe that God has already provided the way
  • Decide to meet the challenge “head on” and tunnel your way through

Feel free to leave a comment below.
For more information about coaching email: pam@relevantministry.org or nelson@relevantministry.org
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