Every household has it’s common sounds. A dog barking. Kids laughing. Coffee grinding. TV blasting. In my house, it is often my wife saying to me - “Stop Squinting!” The truth is, my eyesight is awful when I am not wearing my glasses. So being a typical stubborn man, I will squint to read the score or what formation the defense is in during a game rather, than getting up and get my glasses. By squinting, I am able to actually read the scores because I have gained temporary visual clarity. However, when I have my glasses on, I am able to see EVERYTHING with so much clarity, and the visual clarity is no longer temporary - but sustained! What a brilliant concept! Isn’t Business all about sustaining results as well?
Well, to much discontent, I recently lost those glasses. The ironic thing is that I last had them at a baseball game. I wore them so that I could read the boards over center field! Since then, I have really been struggling to see while driving and to watch SportsCenter. Now for a quick side note… You are probably thinking - Why don’t I just go and get new ones? Well, I am positive that they are in the house somewhere, because I am always misplacing things….But, I think it is time to give up the search and rescue mission and go get a new pair.
Have any of you been in this situation and can relate to this? You may not rely on glasses to see, but have you ever had a lack of “clarity” in your life when either making a decision in your personal life or in your Business? Things just don’t seem to be the way you thought they would be when you “had the perfect idea or plan.” Everything that was once so clear now has a veil of fog over it. You may even find yourself asking some of these questions:
- Should I take that promotion that I am being presented with?
- Should I take that new job and uproot my family?
- My Business Partner is not on board with me anymore - should I buy him out?
- Am I where God wants me to be?
These are the things that can keep a man up at night. Searching, thinking, wondering, and looking for clarity. What to do and when to do it. How do we as men deal with these questions? How do we gain Clarity? Well, some men may face them head-on while others may run or even avoid thinking about them. I contend that the men who gain true clarity are those that don’t climb the highest peak to run and hide, but those that go to the lowest place - to the floor and on their knees. I do have to clarify that for those of you that love the mountains and to be outdoors, going to the highest peak to get on your knees and pray is perfect!
Clarity comes through praying and seeking God’s guidance so that you may have more clarity in your decision making. You can’t possibly think about what you are in while you are in it. You need to step away and gain some perspective. Think about it - How do companies put together their VISION and Mission Statements? Generally, they will bring together their General Management team and take them off-site to review the past results, current goals, and set the course for strategy moving forward. They go away and they seek direction!
Sound familiar? Jesus often went away for a while to pray to his Father. He realized that the sustaining strength that accompanied a consistent prayer life was worth the time. “In the morning, while it was still very dark, Jesus got up and went to a deserted place and prayed there.” (Mark 1:35 ISV) I love this visual! It reminds me of the importance of waking up and having Coffee With God. Starting the day right so that I can lean on the sustaining strength of God, not the withering strength of John! I have so much more clarity regarding my purpose for what I am doing and where God has me ONLY when I have spent time with God and I am framing my decisions in his Word.
Are things in your life not as clear as you would like? Instead of going out and getting a pair of glasses, why not try something less expensive - something that costs only your time. Prayer. Get up out of bed earlier in the morning! Yes - this is a challenge to you. To be quite honest with you, are you under the assumption that the 20 minutes “extra” sleep that you get in the morning is worth it? I personally have spent enough hours of conversations with sleep specialists and physicians regarding sleep when I was selling pharmaceuticals for Insomnia, to understand that this is not even true “rested” sleep. It is actually making you more tired. You would be better off getting out of bed, off your back, and on your knees. If Jesus saw the benefit of it, why shouldn’t you? Gaining Clarity through prayer. CLEARLY it is the best solution!