Bible, Project Management, Teaching, z11
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The Project of Life: Put down the donut!


Tim Horton donuts Photo Flickr/LexnGer

Change can lead to success — Tim Horton donuts Photo Flickr/LexnGer

Any important project requires an investment of you, and that is why so many great ideas die.

What makes us stuck so that our projects die? We all get stuck and there is a small industry explaining our failures. There are books, including a Christian study guide called “Stuck” to explain the inertia problem that kills our projects. They identify negative things that we need to deal with so we can keep moving forward.

But the problem is not a problem; it’s positive and good, not negative and bad. Can you find a problem in the list below? Are you a dietician?

Mixed Berry Smoothie, Chocolate Danish, Double Berry Muffin, Walnut Crunch Doughnut, Timbit Dutchie, Gingerbread Man Cookies, Ice Cream all flavors, Egg Salad Sandwiches, Blueberry Fritters

I like Tim Hortons and I don’t mean to criticize, but these are products they have removed from the menu. Read the list again and sigh, except for that dietician. But note: the Calgary Herald for Feb 21, 2014 reports on these menu deletions; “Tim Hortons shares gained nearly three per cent, or $1.72, to $59.66 on the Toronto Stock Exchange.”

Investors now think Tim Hortons has a better future. The worst enemy of progress is something good that makes us happy. Pleasant memories from the past are enemies of the future, really.

At the recruiting phase of his project Jesus told his disciples “Follow me and I will make you fishers of men” (Matthew 4:19). That was a polite way of saying they were done with the other kind of fishing.

Jesus was a carpenter, his followers included fishermen, a tax collector, a medical doctor (Luke), and a lawyer (Paul). Their previous careers are never disparaged in the Bible, but the past was deleted from the menu to make room for something new. Jesus invested three years of intense training to break the hold of the past on his followers and to focus them on his future.

After all that, when Jesus died, his followers went back to fishing and the resurrected Jesus had to go find them. And Paul was an old and mature man when he said “forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal” (Philippians 3:13-14).

Deleting from the menu is one place where our projects sink or swim, and we pass or fail. That comfortable old armchair has to make room for the new couch.

My Dad is a retired tradesman, and I remember at home he was an excellent mechanic and carpenter. That’s a problem for me because I have a different life. I can’t conduct my business in blue jeans and a work shirt with a tool in my hand, but it would feel good. I have an ingrained model from my childhood.

So what are you trying to accomplish in this year? Is your project personal, or something for God, or a change in your business? I suggest you do an inventory of yourself and your business, and identify what attractive items need to be cut from the menu. If we won’t do that, we don’t believe in the bright future of the project.

God bless you at the beginning of this year, with all those things you want to accomplish in 2014.

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