Don’t Ignore the Obvious

(I am away on a vacation/study break during the month of July. The posts that appear during the month are from the archives.)

I really don’t want to ignore the obvious, and yet I do at times.

I graduated from the University of North Texas with a degree in business. I recall taking a variety of classes including some in business management, accounting, business law, finance, statistics, etc. Yet, in spite of these courses, I ignored the obvious.

I actually paid very little attention toward thinking about the kind of work that I might do for the rest of my life. I am not suggesting that I should have known exactly what I was going to do. I am saying that I did not even give it very much thought. Oh I knew what I was going to do when I graduated. I had been working for UPS while in college and I knew that I would be driving and then going into management with them. Yet, beyond that, I gave my future little thought.

Maybe the following is obvious to you. Yet, I need to be reminded to not ignore the obvious.


Am I thinking ahead?

1. In five years, I will be somewhere doing something.  In five years, do I want to be able to say that I have invested in my growth and maturity over these past five years? What will that mean TODAY in terms of the practical decisions that I need to make?

2. At the end of this year, I will be somewhere financially.  If I continue to spend money the way I am currently spending money, what will be my financial condition in January 2010? Do I need to make a change TODAY in terms of the way I spend money?

3. As I begin my week, I am going to make choices about the way I invest my time. Who needs my attention and time this week? Are there significant people in my life who have not been receiving the time or attention the need? Do I need to make a decision TODAY regarding this?

4. In front of me is an unread book.  I can easily say, given what I already have scheduled, “I don’t have time to read a book this week.” Yet, could I carve out thirty minutes each day to read? Could I carve out fifteen minutes each day to read? Do I need to begin this TODAY?

5. In several years, my body will be in some sort of condition.  I might be in good health. I could be in poor health. Am I investing in the health of my body? Am I conscious of what I eat and how I exercise? Or, do I ignore the obvious and choose to avoid thinking about it? Do I need to address this TODAY?

You may be a student. One of the most difficult ways of going to college (undergrad or graduate) is to wait until the day before the assignment is due to begin the readings, write the paper, etc. Far better to look at the time between now and the next class meeting and make a decision about what you need to do each day, beginning TODAY. You may be surprised at the difference in the stress you experience.

Perhaps this is obvious to you. Yet, I have seen so many people ignore the obvious and then a few years down the road wonder what happened.

Am I in control of the week? No. Only God knows what will actually occur this week. Only God in his providence knows exactly the conversations I will have and the people who I will spend time with. That is a given. Yet, at the same time, I have to make choices every week and every day about the way I will use time. For example, this week, I am speaking twice on Wednesday. I speak on Wednesday morning and then again Wednesday evening. I know that next Sunday morning I will preach again. In order to prepare for these times, I will have to make some decisions regarding the way I use my time each day this week.

I am not in control of the week. Yet, I am going to plan a time to go to the gym and exercise. I do this each day after I leave the office. This time each day is energy producing. Besides, I know that it is an investment in my health. Yet, for this to happen, I have to block out some time each day.

Will I read my Bible and pray this week? Will I spend time talking with my wife? Will I connect with my children this week? All of these questions require some time investment. Yet, if I don’t think about this at the beginning of the week, I could find myself at the end of the week watching something mindless on television while I have ignored a significant relationship that needed my time this week.

This is something that I am thinking about today as I consider my week. Maybe you will will find this helpful.

Question: 

Do you ever ignore the obvious in your life? What is it that you typically ignore or just not deal with?

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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