Focus on the “What” and Not the “How”
June 17, 2008
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Recently Rupert, my friend and fellow pastor at M-P, showed me a book he’s reading for his PhD program. We got to talking about a point which the book makes, that we put too much focus on the “how” in our lives. When I think of a problem or a challenge I immediately want to answer the “how” of it. “How will I get the money?” or “How will I find the time?” or “How will I explain what I want to do?” “How?” “How?” “How?”
I suspect it would have been very easy for Moses to have asked “How?” when he led the huge crowd of probably over a million people of God to the edge of the Red Sea, saw the Egyptians in hot pursuit, and knew they had to cross. When Moses considered leading this huge group of people into the wilderness he must have been tempted to ask “How?” in reference to the feeding of so many.
I sometimes resist acting in positive and creative ways because I don’t have a completely satisfactory answer to the “how” of it. I’ve come to realize that when I have a greater concern of how I am going to do something rather than the doing of it, I’m beaten before even starting. It’s easy to give too much leadership to “How?” in life.
“What am I supposed to do?” is the first question that we should be asking. Its answer deserves our total commitment. The “How?” question needs answering eventually but it must never be allowed to take away from the “What?” question. Giving leadership to the “What?” question will best guarantee that we will find an answer to the “How?” question.