Have you ever noticed how much easier is to complete a project than manage a lifestyle? As a musician I understood projects. Write a song: check. Record an album: check. Put on an event: check. You gear up for the project, get all your energies focused in that direction, and then execute. Then the project is over and you can relax, get back to normal.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for pressing forward. Only living to manage the past or nurture the current reality is definitely not for me. But there are certain aspects of life where only being a “project person” can actually keep you from making progress.
Weight loss for instance. It’s great to go on a 6 week diet and exercise program and drop those 25 pounds. But once that project is complete and life heads back to normal, how quick do we return to the pizza, brownies, and chocolate shakes (3 things I just happen to have personal addictions to myself). They never show you those stories on NBC’s Biggest Loser, do they?
Same for our spiritual life. Last time I checked, Jesus wanted an ongoing relationship, not a New Year’s resolution.
I had a mentor once tell me “it’s not just how high you can fly, but how straight you can walk when you come back to earth.” I’m a goal setter, don’t misunderstand. Tangible projects can give us the short-term motivation to press in and do something worthwhile. But we also need to become people who massage some discipline into our everyday, not just the project days. The two have to walk hand-in-hand.
It’s one thing to clean the house, another to keep the house clean. One thing to drop 25 pounds, another to live 25 pounds lighter. One thing to attend church on Sunday, another to live with Jesus in the mundane reality of the everyday.
I’m all for projects. Go on, get ‘er done. But how will we live different when the project’s complete?