I get the honor of working with churches across the country, so most weeks I find myself in a different part of the U.S. Every visit usually starts by trying to navigate from the airport to the church, to the hotel, then to a restaurant, then back to the church.
You would think after visiting a city five or six times a year, I would get to know my way around better. This isn’t true. Even after six times to a certain city, it is like I’ve never been there before.
Why is this?
My wife would tell you it is just because I’m bad at directions. While this is probably true, I think there is more to it.
By following Google Maps on my iPhone, I no longer pay attention to my surroundings or think about if I am heading east. I simply follow a little blue dot and make sure it is heading toward the little red dot.
Life’s Little Blue Dot
I believe many people are living their life this way. They are so focused on how to get from Point A to Point B that they are unaware of what is around them in the present, and they miss the point of the journey.
The point isn’t to have …
- enough money to retire
- a great family
- a job you love
Those are all great things, but if you pursue them at the expense of what is happening around you now, you are missing the best part of living. The best part isn’t tomorrow, it’s today.
A New Road Map
So, how can you effectively keep your eyes off the map and embrace what’s happening today?
1. Don’t overplan.
I’m all about life planning and project planning, but sometimes you can spend more time planning than you do living. At some point, you just need to do something.
2. Don’t share everything.
This is my biggest struggle with living in the now. I feel part of my calling is to share what is going on in the world, and I do that through social media. Sometimes (probably many times) the moment is for me, and me taking time to take out my phone and share it on Twitter only takes away from that moment. Sometimes it’s better to put the phone down and just enjoy the moment.
3. Do something spontaneous.
Some of my best moments with my kids are when I pick them up from school. Even though my original plan might be to head straight home, I’ll let them decide what we do next. These spontaneous moments are what create the memories both my kids and I will remember for a lifetime.
So, the next time you’re tempted to follow life’s little blue dot, take your eyes off the map and enjoy the journey. Believe me, you won’t regret it.
How do you intentionally “take your eyes off the map”