“No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead…” Philippians 3:14 (NLT)
I love archery. There are few things more enjoyable to me than getting out the bows and putting in some target practice with my son, Andrew. And, while I love the new technology and speed my single-cam compound bow offers, there is nothing like instinctive shooting with a long bow. Somehow there seems to be a connection with archers of old as you draw back stick and string alone. No laser sights, no mechanical release aids. Of course, great instinctive archers make it look so easy, and it looks even easier for Robin Hood and his merry men on the big screen. You just pull it back and fire, right?
With a long bow you aim with your whole body, aligning from your feet up. You factor in not only the prefered target, but the distance, the elevation, the wind and more. The many layers of wood bend and then flex as one. You concentrate, relax, focus, commit and then… woosh! The fletching crosses the rest in an instant and your eye follows the path as the arrow takes flight in the direction it was ultimately aimed.
In a Coaching process the Refocus stage is like instinctive archery. Bob Logan and Gary Reinecke explain, “Refocusing acts as a bridge between good intentions and actually realizing those intentions. We all have dreams and desires, but we need to get them translated into specific action points if we hope to see them become reality. Refocusing confirms our destination, direction, and priorities, but it also translates them into concrete steps that will help us move forward.”
Servant leader, how’s your aim? Someone has said that, “If you aim at nothing, you will hit it every time?” Are you prayerfully and carefully considering all the options as you strive to align yourself with God’s preferred future? Just how do you do this? Here are a few suggestions…
- Pray, Pray and then Pray some more – ask for wisdom and clarity
- Brainstorm – include others who may just have a perspective you lack
- Prioritize – discern what really matters and, cut out the surplus and, again, include others in this phase
- Commit – having prayed and sought wise counsel; commit to the plan and trust God as it then unfolds.
And, remember one more critical factor… flexibility. Like a good bow, the strength is in it’s ability to bend, but not break. The farther it bends, the greater the velocity until it has been pulled back as far as it will go (full draw). So, show some grace and give ample room as plans change and others in your life play vital and various roles along the way. Relax. Take a deep breath.