Sunday, March 16, 2008

Russians don't take a dump without a plan, son.

Years ago, as I was leaving college, I had no clear idea of what I wanted to do with my life. Like you, I had a few dreams, but nothing definite or mapped out. There was a move on in my circles to try and push us to come up with a 5 year plan, followed by a 10 year plan, both of which were supported by a life verse, a personal mission statement and a detailed personal budget. Needless to say, my leaders were out of touch with where we were as students. We were looking for pizza coupons in the trash, not graph paper to draw impressive looking pie charts and Venn diagrams (unless it would have helped us get dates.) “Aim at nothing and you’ll hit it every time.” This was the club used to beat us into submission. Future Pastor, I’m not advising you not to try and plan your future. I only want you to feel free from the burden of feeling like you have to have everything figured out right now. Planning is always a good idea, but to a certain extent it falls short and needs to be accepted as such. There is no way at age 24 I could have even imagined owning a restaurant of which I started from an idea and very little capital. I have both a college and graduate level degree, neither of which are food related. And I don’t feel like either was a waste of time or money. What I would recommend, however, is that whatever decision you make, be aware if it is proactive or reactive. The reason this is important to determine is that you may just be running from something instead of toward anything. The summer after I graduated college, I had no job, no girlfriend and no money. At about 11:30pm one night I got a call from a guy I knew asking me to move to California to be a youth pastor in their young, growing church. Given the lack of options, this seemed like a good one. At least someone was extending an invitation, which was more than I ever had. After a few days of consideration, I decided to move. As I was talking through the decision with a friend, he asked me if I going to California, or just leaving Oklahoma. I asked what he meant, and he said to just make sure California was where I really wanted to be and not just an excuse to leave my troubles in Oklahoma. This distinction sunk in and I retracted my decision a few days later. Sometimes we need a fresh start, and a drastic move like that is just the ticket, but for me it wouldn't have gotten me any closer to my heart's desire. Keep learning who you are and let that uniqueness define and shape you and what you do. Don’t be so concerned about the details of the future as you are with the details of your identity. Knowing this helped me make the decision to leave the Church As We Know It and start creating my role in the Church of the Future. I think it will serve you well, also.


Barb said...

Watchman, This was brilliant and needs a much bigger audience! You can just feel the guilt roll off and a sense of rightness take it's place.

Barb said...

Sorry, wanted to keep up on any comments and forgot to check the box.

Matthew said...


I appreciate your blog and your wisdom. This post really resonated with me.


Tracy Simmons said...

There is so much wisdom packed in this one short blog! One of my favorite lines was this one: "What I would recommend, however, is that whatever decision you make, be aware if it is proactive or reactive." That packs a real punch. Thanks!

Watchman said...


It's really more, where have I been all my life. finding place and my identity has enabled me to find my voice again and use it. Thank you for reading and for your kind words.


kerr-dogg said...

I can appreciate the humor and the insight. A lot of people that came out of that OU ministry during that era have found your observations to be very true. I like your blog!