Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Working Like You're Going On Vacation


Just before Christmas came, I was working hard. I was checking things off my own list and checking it twice. Unlike other years, it was not my shopping list for my wife. Her brand new Snuggie and bottle of lotion for dish pan hands was wrapped safely under the tree.

If anyone thinks that is true, they should be wondering how I survived to write this post.

Nevertheless, my shopping was done. My list was a to-do list and I was making sure it was complete because I was taking a vacation until the New Year. WooT! As Type-A as I am every week, I am doubly so when about to take some vacation days. The reason is simple; I don't want to leave anything left undone where someone might have the need to contact me.

Don't get me wrong. I love the people I work with and I love what I do. But when I'm breaking, I plan to disappear and be invisible. Like a high-tech spy, I am gone and good luck to you finding evidence of my existence.

So back to those last days before vacation. It was amazing how simple decisions became. As the time ran out, I simply made a call on lots of things that had sat for weeks on my list. It wasn't that the decisions were life-altering or Earth-shattering. They weren't. But I had gone back and forth on the list of pros and cons and the time was now.

So the decisions were made. Just like that. Every day should be like the day before we go on vacation.

Should we make snap judgments on every decision? No, but we make it seem like choosing a flavor of ice cream could ruin the next few months of our work.

Is this like working yourself out of a job or like you're never coming back? As much as I appreciate those who have offered that people, especially in ministry, should always be working themselves out of a job, this is not what I am saying. As someone who values longevity in ministry, I'm not sure I totally agree with that line of thinking.

But beyond that, we think differently when we think we're never coming back. Unlike retirement, I know I'm coming back. I know the decisions I make will affect others...and me. But here's the thing. Not every decision is going to be the best one. Even if they were, there would still be more decisions waiting.

So don't get stuck on which topping your pizza needs or how many 2-liters of pop to bring. Make the call. Move on. Enjoy your vacation, or perhaps just a good night's sleep. Then come back and do it all over again.

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