Song of Solomon 2:15 Catch the foxes, the little foxes that spoil the vineyard. I ran from Sydney to Melbourne and raised $160k for my local church in 2008. It was a monumental challenge and was not helped by my little toe on my left foot turning black and getting pancaked for 1,172km. It didn’t matter how fit I was, the tiniest thing became my biggest issue. The same principle applies in life. It’s the little things that make the biggest difference and if you don’t pay attention to them, they will take you out. The challenge is many of us think we can take shortcuts with the little things and get away with it, however, you ignore them at your own peril. What are the little foxes in your world stealing the fruitfulness from your vineyard of life, work and health? Identify them and catch them before they spoil your vineyard.
Matthew 11:28 Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest. Too many of us approach life in combat mode, always battling and very rarely winning. This isn’t the life you have to live. Sure there are seasons when life and hell is throwing everything at you but this isn’t reality 100% of the time. You don’t have to live under constant pressure and feeling over burdened. Get a different perspective. God offers us a relationship with him, whereby, we get access to his inexhaustible grace and power to live the life he’s called each of us to. But you have to come to him. You can’t keep doing life in your own strength. You must choose to stop and drink from his living waters. Often times, we are our own worst enemies because we don’t create space in our minds, hearts and schedules for his presence to renew us. It’s time to stop making life harder for yourself than what it needs to be. Run to him and ask for his help!
Sometimes life can get very overwhelming and make you feel like progress is 1 step forward and 2 steps backward. Even at this early stage of 2016, you might already feel like your New Years resolutions and goals are already broken and too difficult to attain. However, before you give up and dismiss them in favor of the blur of day to day busyness, I encourage you to consider the truth that it’s ok to start again. You might have to start over and restart again after that several times before you get into the rhythm and habit you are wanting to make a difference to your life. Don’t overthink it and don’t make it more complex than what it needs to be. Just ask yourself this one question, “what is the one thing I could do or need to do that will help me to get started?” It could be to get up at 6am and get dressed. I was talking to a friend the other day who said, that one act of getting up and getting dressed straight away had a snowball effect on the rest of his day. Whatever your one thing is, get started and get moving. It’s ok to start again!
Philippians 3:13 But one thing I do..
Remove the distractions and unclutter your life! One of the greatest blessings of modern day life is the increase of options which brings with it the curse of increasing distraction. All of us know the feeling of setting our minds and hands to a task, only to find ourselves wandering off into some seemingly pointless pursuit of social media or TV watching. What is it that is getting in the way of what God has created you for and called you to? It’s time to unravel yourself from the complexity of life and focus in like a laser point on the one thing you are here for. Everyone of us have the same amount of hours in the day as the president of the USA and other seemingly high capacity people and yet what are we doing with the precious gift of time Gods given to us. Resolve in your heart that you are not going to let life pass by you any longer and take hold of that which God has purposed you for. This one thing I do!
It’s the little things in life that make the biggest difference. Life is the accumulation of little things, little thoughts, little words, little actions and little choices. The pathway to your destiny begins with a little thought. God has appointed you to a vineyard of gifting and responsibility. Ultimately, it’s not the BIG things that threaten the fruitfulness of your vineyard, as it is, the little things along the way that if you don’t catch now can undermine you later. What are the little foxes in your life that are derailing your hopes and dreams? Identify them, catch them and do something about them before they take you out.
Life tends toward complexity. Complexity is tiring and overwhelming. Most of us are already overwhelmed with more information and demands than we can handle. It seems like every week we need to take stock and cut out, afresh, the complexity from our lives. Simple, on the other hand, is cool. Simple is better. Simple is more effective. Simple is attractive in this day and age. Simple is refined. Simple is leaner and meaner (in a good way). Simple is possible. What complexity do you need to cut out of your job, relationships, finances, health, schedule and faith? There’s been no better time than right now to get simple, get clear and feel more effective in life.
Life seems to constantly creep towards complexity. It doesn’t matter how well intentioned you are, each new day brings with it new opportunities to be distracted from what’s most important.
I’ve observed that most people have a passion for doing 1-2 things but tend to never get around to actually doing what they love because of other competing demands or distractions. We must confront the brutal facts about our lives and realize we can only do so much. The size of our impact is connected more to our concentration on doing the one thing that’s most important than doing eleven different things average.
Less is More
Here are 6 ideas to help you do more by doing less:
1. Minimality = keep it simple: It’s not about the hours you put in but what you put into those hours. Focus is about making disciplined choices about what to take off the plate and what to leave on it. The secret of concentration is elimination.
2. Intentionality = keep it missional: Ask yourself ‘what’s my mission and am I doing it?’ keep the main thing, the main thing.
3. Reality = keep it real: Say goodbye to impression management and say hello to the brutal facts. Be authentic and real with God, yourself and people.
4. Multility = keep it cellular: Ask, ‘What if…?’ Important question if you are going to keep growing. How can you expand the one thing you are on about exponentially?
5. Velocity = keep it moving: Live with a sense of urgency. Time is short and now is the time to act. Move from idea to implementation quickly.
6. Scalability = keep it expanding: Leverage the strength of others around you by having an ‘arrows out’ theology that keeps people moving out to do more of the one thing that’s most important rather than boxed in to what’s least important.