Friday, April 15, 2011

Will This Be Important Five Years From Now?

I haven't been here much this week, because I've been doing double duty at my other job.  I'm not sure why it is, but I've always been the kind of person that sees something that needs to be done and instead of waiting for someone to tell me, I just jump right in and start.  I work at a church, part time, and this church is finishing up a building project; they've added more classrooms and re-purposed some of the old areas.  Saturday is supposed to be cleaning day for all members to come together and rid the church building of the dirt and concrete dust that is everywhere.  Just walking through the building leaves me craving a shower, it's so dirty. 

I discovered in staff meeting on Tuesday morning that I will be the only staff person there on, the newest member!  My immediate response was to think, "Well, I know nothing about anything so I'll show up and wait for a long-time church member to tell me what to do."  Now, if you know me at all, you know that this really is not my personality.  I don't generally sit and wait to be told what needs to be done, so I asked a member of the building committee who happens to be the church secretary (and we all know that they know EVERYTHING) to walk me through the intended purposes of the space and what she believed should be done.  And then I dug in!

I have spent this week up to my....well, all of every nook and cranny of that church.  I've dug through every box, sorting and cleaning.  I've visited with church members about getting shelves hung and how to go about getting more shelves.  I've asked members to join me on various days this week to come in ahead of Saturday to get some things done so that on Saturday morning we can actually do the cleaning and setting up that was intended. 

The thing that I've had to keep reminding myself of, as it gets overwhelming each day (and I really mean several times each day) is this:  Is this going to be important five years from now?  Or even one year from now?  Sometimes we get so caught up in the trivial details that we lose sight of the big picture.  My job at the church is to help coordinate all the programs and therefore, the people, of the church and their activities.  To do that effectively, I wanted to know what resources we have and how it has all fit together so far.  This process of sorting and cleaning has made it possible for me to know what we have and to get to know more new friends as we work together. 

One member has been a little concerned that things will not be precisely where she would like them and that is when my mantra came back to me...Is this going to be important in one year...or five years?  Will I even remember this in that time frame? 

Isn't it funny how easy it is to get caught up in the most minute of details and forget to see what is really important?  I think that we tend to do this because the little details are easier to take care of, to make decisions about.  The big picture requires us to think it through and to spend a little time.  You know, we all start out with the best of intentions... "today I'm going to do.....," but then some little thing happens and "I'll just take care of this and then...."  But then something else comes up and we get to the end of the day and we haven't done what we set out to do.  OK.  We'll do it tomorrow and the same thing happens.  My friend says that she has a PhD in procrastination.  That's what this is; putting off what needs to be done.

There is a room in the church where all the consumable supplies are stacked right now.  I have cringed each time I've walked past that room, not knowing even where to start.  Well, I really know.  I just need to pick a place and begin.  I've used all kinds of excuses all week long to put it off.  Five years from now will I remember this?  (I might. I might still be there sorting and cleaning!)   Probably not, but what about the really big things in life that you're putting off?  What is it that you need to address TODAY that you will remember five years from now. 

Pick a place, it really doesn't matter, just pick a place and start.  Take baby steps, if you have to, but start.  Right now!  As Nike says, 'Just Do It.'  You'll feel so much better when you get it started and imagine how you'll feel when you get it done! 

I send you nothing but blessings today to go forth and BEGIN!

Again and again, the impossible problem is solved
when we see that the problem is only a tough
decision waiting to be made.

--Robert H. Schuller

1 comment:

Akindman said...

Good article Ereline. Right approach to handling your new job. No sense in wasting time and energy, jump in with both feet and get it done.