Hey friends, here are 10 questions I use to refocus my life each month during my monthly prayer and planning retreats in the mountains. Find out how to refocus your life here.
Yesterday I hiked the Kittatinny mountains and thought I’d share what I did and the questions I asked myself in case you wanted to go on a prayer and planning retreat too. Here goes…
- I hiked the Appalachian Trail through a place called “Knife’s Edge” to a rock outcropping called “Bake Oven Knob” which looks down on the valley below.
- From that beautiful vantage point, I pulled out a set of questions I’ve been using to evaluate my life and ministry for the past 25 years. They were written by a gifted leadership coach named Bob Biehl.
- I closed my eyes and took a series of deep breaths for a couple of minutes to still my heart and focus my mind.
- Then, with the questions in front of me and the valley before me, I asked God to help me completely re-evaluate everything I’m doing.
- One by one I answered each question, slowly. The process usually takes two hours and I end up filling the entire sheet with notes, front and back.
When I pack up, I always leave with a list of to-do items, numbered in order of priority, to implement as soon as I get back. These are things I know God is asking me to do, stop or delegate. I leave knowing that I heard from God as best as I could.
Scripture tells us that when Jesus needed to make an important decision, he went away by himself to the mountains to pray (Mt 14:23). I have discovered over the years why he did that. I do not exaggerate when I say that this is the single most important and rewarding day of the entire month because I always leave with two things: greater clarity and greater conviction.
If you’re wrestling with something right now, I’d really encourage you to put a day on the calendar, print off the questions, throw on your hiking boots, and head to the mountains.
10 Questions to Refocus Your Life
“A leader knows what to do next, knows why that’s important, and knows how to bring the appropriate resources to bear on the need at hand.” – Bob Biehl
- What is my single greatest strength? (What do I “do” the best?)
- What three decisions are causing me the greatest stress?
- What is overwhelming me?
- What impassable roadblock has me stuck?
- If I could only do three things before I die, what would I want to do?
- What should I resign from, or drop out of? “Efficiency is doing things right, effectiveness is doing the right things.” – Peter Drucker
- What can I postpone?
- What things on my “to do” list can someone else do at least 80 percent as well?
- What are the “elephants” in my schedule? “If you’re Noah, and your ark is about to sink, look for the elephants first.” – Pareto.
- What are the three things I could do in the next 90 days to make a 50 percent difference?
Hey, while I have you, let me give you a quick update on a few things…
- In January I hiked what is called “The Jesus Trail”—the route Jesus would have taken when he left his hometown of Nazareth to begin his ministry on the north side of Galilee in Capernaum. I had a stress fracture in my left foot and wore a boot during November and December, so I wasn’t sure I’d be able to go, but thankfully I recovered in time. The views were simply breathtaking. I highly recommend it. I’m taking another group of leaders on a trip in February 2020.
- I continue to receive encouraging feedback about how my latest book, Finding Favor: God’s Blessings Beyond Health, Wealth and Happiness, has opened people’s eyes to how God uses difficult circumstances to bless us. It’s now in its second printing. If you know of someone who needs encouragement or wants to discover rare insights into God’s word that few realize are in the Bible, please share the book with them. I created a resource bundle for pastors who would like to use it for a sermon series.
- I’ve been jamming to this cover of the old spiritual “Ain’t No Grave” by Molly Skaggs and Bethel Music as high as I can possibly crank it. I didn’t think anyone could sing it better than Johnny Cash until I heard this.
- Finally, now that Lisa has finished her doctorate (PhD Immaculata University) we’re exploring starting a new Bible study group together. Not sure what that will be or who that is for, but we feel a burden to create an environment to make more and better disciples, together. I appreciate your prayers in that regard. We still need clarity on that.
This article originally appeared here.