I'm consumed with returning our yard back to good condition after six years of rental neglect left it overgrown or dead. One task: remove the back lawn and replace it with a brick patio. Rarely for SoCal in June, over 1" of rain fell last weekend, which softened the turf enough to remove easily. Well, easier than if it were hard and dry. So I eagerly started in with a shovel and old muscles and fairly quickly excavated 3/4 of the 600 sq.ft., only to realize I'd created a problem.
Take a close look at the above pic of our disappearing backyard lawn. At the top you see the wheelbarrow with a 200 lb. load of sod. At the left you see a concrete sidewalk, one that ends just beyond the end of the grass. Otherwise, it's all dirt. Loose dirt. Soft dirt. The caliber of dirt that a 200 lb. wheelbarrow can't easily navigate. Particularly when propelled by old muscles. Dirt that, if I removed another 3 ft. of grass, I would have to drag the barrow through.
Fortunately, I saw the dilemma just in time to leave enough grass to get to the sidewalk. You can see that little dogleg in the middle left of the pic. Yes, that saved some effort, but it reminded me of the need to work backward. To think of the desired end, and strategize how to get there. Or, don't paint yourself into a corner. I almost did.
Spiritually, that becomes even more critical. What goals do you have for the person you'd like to be, for what you'd like to accomplish, by the end of your life? Have you thought of that? I didn't even consider that until my thirties. I had short term goals, but not much long term. Consequently, some short term decisions derailed greater long term growth and opportunities. I grieve over those losses. Yes, I'm forgiven, I know that. But I lost
Kick Starting the Application
So, work backward a bit. Look ahead to determine where you'd like to end up in your walk with God, in serving him. Pray about it. Get good counsel from those who know you well and will be brutally honest. Then, figure out the best way to get there. What will sidetrack you? What will ease the path? Of course, be flexible and adapt as needed.
Look backward a bit too. Have you done this and it helped? Or, have you not and seen it hurt? Why did you do what you did? What lesson, specifically for you, can you draw from that?
Last, this week, begin to clarify some general spiritual aims for your life. Take your time. Then start to refine and act on them. Let us know how it went, OK?