I wanted to take the chance today and offer a rather short, simple thought, one that was inspired by an unlikely source.
Today’s post is inspired by a nice warm fire and a snowy day.
I was doing some writing recently on one of the colder days of the year. I had a fire rocking in the fireplace. It was a good one. Giving off great heat. Had a good base of coals. It even looked pretty!
It was working.
I was really warm. But I wanted be a little warmer. So, I added three or four logs all at once. Really just kind of threw them on there without a lot of thought. I went to the kitchen to fix lunch, and about 10 minutes later came back to my seat.
I had worked about 10 more minutes when I realized something wasn’t quite right.
My really awesome fire wasn’t so awesome anymore. In fact, it was smoldering. It looked awful. There was not a lot of heat coming from it. In my desire to improve it, I had choked the life out of it. We all know fire needs oxygen, a little draft to keep the flames fanned. By haphazardly dumping logs on it, I had pretty much left no room for any sort of airflow.
So, I took a couple logs off, rearranged them, fanned it a bit, and voila . . . She fired right back up.
What’s the lesson here? Simple: In our attempts to improve and innovate, we can actually hurt the good thing we have going.
We’ve written here and here about the importance of evaluation, goals, direction, and progress. You have to have a plan for your ministry. You have to have the right goals in mind, and know how you are planning on achieving them. You have to evaluate effectively and move toward your goals.
But sometimes what we are doing is working really, really well.
Sometimes, the answer is to keep trucking along.
Growth and improvement are vital. I’m a fan of often asking questions even when things are going great:
- What can we be doing to improve?
- Are we missing something?
- What are the possible variables that might throw us off?
But sometimes we need to resist the urge to change for change’s sake. Sometimes, we simply need to stay the course and pour ourselves into the successful, healthy, effective ministry we’ve set in motion.
Otherwise, you might put your fire out simply because you added more wood.