Monday, August 18, 2008

Zero Sum Planning

In thinking about the new opportunity that is coming my way - indeed, one does not often get the opportunity where a job change enables a schedule change, which can enable do much else - I found myself thinking on a Brian Tracy concept: Zero Sum Planning.

The concept is this: if I had it to do over again, what would I do again? What would I not do again? A corollary which flows from this is we can only do a finite number of things: in order to do one thing, we must give up something else.

A second thing that brought this into focus was on my drive home, I caught Dr. Charles Stanley, whose message today was on the judgement seat of Christ. The part where I wandered in - and stuck - was when he was speaking about the judgement and realizing the opportunities that we missed to serve and honor God more.

So combining these two thought lines together, the question becomes this: if life is to be lived for and in the shadow of eternity and the pleasure of God, what am doing in my life right now that lacks value? How am I being that does not add value?

It may be nothing. It may be all. What I can say is that it seems like there is a lot of things I have been dragging around with me for years - high school or before. Am I doing these things because they add true value to my life, or am I doing them out of inertia, or unwillingness to simply admit that I've moved on?

I had a stark reminder of that today. My parents came down to drop off a load of stuff - things from the shed of their renter, who passed away last month. I went through tubs of craft things and wood objects - things that I think were handmade - and of what use are they now?

Why do I cling to things so much? My garage, my house, indeed my life is filled with bits of this and that, pieces and parts of working things, things that I will get around to "any day now" but never seem to. Again, part of that feeling of not wanting to admit I've moved on, or simply admit that some money is wasted, and don't make that mistake again.

Someday, I'll appear before the judgement seat of Christ, and all of the things I worked for, all of the things I worked on, absent any value to Christ, will vanish as smoke. If this is the case, why do I put such effort into them now?

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