Earlier this week I spoke to a group of 90 leaders to communicate a new organizational plan for a network that I am involved with. The event was kind of a big deal. I have been working toward this day for several months and presented a new organizational vision to these 90 leaders. Since the presentation, I have been thinking about how the actual event just wasn’t that important. It’s not that I didn’t care about the presentation, but that this event was only one step in the overall process of reshaping the organization. The event was a ceremony to cast vision, to call for action, and to talk about the future, but it was Just One Event. It would be a mistake to see the event as everything.
Big events, for me, have always been secondary to daily commitments. I pay more attention to what I do with my kids every day than to the celebration of ceremonial milestones. I focus on daily marital habits and ongoing romance rather than relying on occasional celebrations. In leadership, I make daily investments in those that I lead and serve rather than having occasional distant interactions. I believe that what I do every day will ultimately matter a lot more than what I occasionally do. Real life is daily rather than occasional. In light of this conviction, here are three ways to make sure that you don’t miss out on real life:
1. Remember that Real Life is what happens in between big events.
Events are occasional. Real life is daily. Events are momentous. Real life is routine. Thirty minutes of uninterrupted conversation with your spouse every day turns into a lifetime of conversation. Reading a chapter of the Bible every day takes you through the Bible 15-20 times in your life. Spending time daily with each of your kids becomes a lifetime of investment and reward. Time with your neighbors regularly facilitates a lifetime of living on mission. What you do every day counts. While you are busy planning for your vacation, waiting for the weekend, and anticipating the next ceremony, real life is happening. Don’t let life pass you by while you are waiting for the next big event.
2. See Ceremony as Valuable but not as Ultimate.
Celebration, Presentations, Vacations, Holidays, Birthdays, and Anniversaries are important. These are times to remember and to celebrate. But to only rest on vacation is to be tired most of the year. To only be romantic on your anniversary is to have a roommate. To make a big deal of your daughter’s birthday and not invest in her daily is to be an absentee parent. To favor large platform ministry only and neglect life on life leadership will fail to produce depth in new leaders.
3. Prioritize the daily over the occasional.
What you do every day is what people will remember over the course of life. Daily habits and patterns are what make up most of life. So while you are planning the next big event:
- Invest time in your marriage TODAY
- Spend time with your kids TODAY
- Teach your kids something that is true TODAY
- Read one chapter of your Bible TODAY
- Get some rest TODAY
- Take a small step in a big project TODAY
- Spend some time with a developing leader TODAY
What would you add to this? Please comment and add your insight!
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