Writer, Church leader, Eccentric Nut, Marketer

I'm Church Leader, Writer, Speaker, Marketer, Kindness Project Founder, Broadcaster and Superhero. But most important I'm a Husband, Father and a worshiper of Jesus.

25 June 2013

What's Next?

Jerry Seinfeld's ingenious new internet series "Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee" is an absolutely delightful voyeuristic peep into the experience of two funny people legitimately dialoguing about the intricacies of life... while trying to make each other laugh.  This past week Jerry took another favorite of mine, David Letterman, out for coffee and they had this thought-provoking exchange.

Letterman begins talking about the relatively insignificant ongoing of his son scraping his hand. Dave's dilemma is about whether to send him to baseball practice or not. He and asks Seinfeld, "what do you do this situation?" Seinfeld says, "I support any position my wife takes."

Dave: Because she knows more about parenting than you do?
Jerry: Here's the answer, it doesn't matter what you do, but why have a fight with your wife?
Dave: (laughs) But here's the worst part, and maybe you don't experience this since you mentioned that you don't care, (laughter) is that you feel guilty about your own behavior
Jerry: I kind of look at my family now and I think, in 60 years everyone's dead here.
Dave: (mortified) "Can I have the cheque?  Good Lord!"
Jerry: I just don't like this overconcideration of every decision

It's OBVIOUSLY all in jest (and this is fascinating coming from the man who created the entire "show about nothing" genre and is the Godfather of observational "have you ever noticed" humor) ... but there is something very important about what Seinfeld says here. As life progresses and you grow up, you are given MORE decisions to make.  Decisions that WILL effect you and your family too. But developing the skill of quickly assessing all angles, discerning what's MOST right, making a decision... and moving on to "What's Next" becomes a necessity.

Endless bemoaning, second guessing and "what ifing" about insignificant minutia, actually steals life from us because SOMETHING is next and needs your full attention too.  I'm lucky enough to sit on numerous leadership teams, boards, task forces and the like that can take a defined period of allotted time, quickly make pro/con cases... quickly devise scenarios, quickly eliminate them... and quickly make decisions. It's a pleasure to be a part of machines like this in action. I've also been a part of ones that... didn't.  It was worse.

Sometimes I feel like President Bartlet from the West Wing.  Throughout the series, it depicted the Commander in Chief facing dilemma after dilemma.  Moral, ethical, political, social, economical, international, domestic, fatherly and marital dilemmas.  One after another.  Each one needing a YES, NO or TABLE IT, with the looming specter of the next dilemma chomping at the bit.  After he'd make a decision... he'd punctuate it with "What's Next?"

Done. Peace for a split second. Clear head. Next task.

Sometime I wonder if our "busyness" in life and overall societal exasperation is because we put too much emotion and self into each decision. Seinfeld is right.  Moments after that decision about baseball practice its is forgotten by Dave's boy Harry.  But if Dave hangs onto it...it's destructive. We simply cannot put disproportionate value on small things... through WORRY. When we WORRY... we put the result of decisions on us. Owning our decisions is admirable. We need to be responsible.   But...

... in 1 Corinthians  2:16 we're enlighted to this marvelous process where:

“Who can know the Lord’s thoughts? Who knows enough to teach him?” But we understand these things, for we have the mind of Christ." 

Well shut the front door.

We're able to HAVE the MIND of Christ.  We need to be able to find that mind quickly and then not over-inflate our ego by continuing to stress about the results of decisions.  The results of obedience belong to God. Taking bits of pieces out of Matthew 6: 25-34, Jesus gives us something beautiful to rest in:

 I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing?..... Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature?  For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things..... But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.

Get the mind of Christ.  Decide.  What's Next.

 Baseball practice or world impact, as a grownup there IS going to a NEXT that requires our attention.... right away.  And YES it CAN be stressful.  Yes it even takes a toll. Just watch how gray American presidents go during their term.  But I desire to be a "What's Next" decision maker that God can trust to make the right decisions for the purpose of seeing HIS Kingdom coming.

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