We’re so excited to share this post with you! The text is below, or there’s an audio version above with commentary from me and Eric. Thank you and enjoy!
I want to share an idea with you today that adds a different perspective to productivity.
It’s not about how to make better lists or avoid distractions or utilize a new tool (though those are all important).
It’s about how we know if we’re moving forward on the right things, in the right way, with the right support.
Let’s start with a little story:
Several years ago, while at a family camp with Eric and the children, I somehow got it in my head that I could do the high ropes course. I am terrified of heights, and, although I had attended that camp six or seven times, I had always opted to sit at the bottom of the course and take pictures of my friends. But that specific year, I told Eric, “I’m doing the ropes course today! I’m not nursing, I’m not pregnant, and I’m not getting any younger.”
So I did. It was thrilling and scary, and I haven’t done it since, but that experience taught me something incredibly powerful that I have thought about many times since.
When preparing for the high ropes course, you put on your harness, helmet, and the little metal clippy things.
Then the guy at the base of the course secures you to the other end of the rope that he’s holding. Before you even get one inch off the ground, your belayer says, “Talk to me.”
Now, my mind went totally blank when he said this. Talk to you? What do you want to talk about? Isn’t this an odd time to be talking? Then I remembered–he wanted me to say the code words.
“On Belay?” I questioned him to make sure he was ready to support me.
“Belay On,” he replied. That meant I could start climbing–we were on the same page.
As I started to climb, I sometimes got to spots where I absolutely didn’t think I could go any further. I called down to my husband and to the belayer, “I can’t get my foot into this groove! I’m not going to be able to do this!”
Then they encouraged me to move a little more to the right, to use my legs, to keep going. I noticed that as I lifted my leg as high as possible and pushed (even a little), the belayer pretty much pulled me up.
He didn’t do it until he could see I was trying my best, but it was like I was being lifted to the top with relatively little effort of my own.
The parallels? Ropes courses are great ways to learn about life, and in many ways, a climb like that symbolizes our daily climb–the effort we apply to achieve our goals.
The belayer supporting us is God. The rope is our connection to Him.
Before we attempt to do anything significant in life, the Lord, in essence, says, “Talk to Me.” He wants us to ask for His counsel. He wants us to get on the same page as He is–to have our will become His. He doesn’t want us to just do whatever we want…we might get hurt or lost.
At those times in our lives when we are at a crossroads (or, as I would suggest, each morning before we launch into our daily task list), we can carefully plan the course we are intending to follow and then ask, “On Belay?”
Then if our plan looks good, He, who knows everything, who will always be our support, who will never let us down, says, “Belay On.”
That is when we know we can proceed with confidence.
When we come to a point in our journey when it just seems too hard to move forward (which happens every day for me), we can express those feelings to the Lord, and He will give us encouragement–telling us where to “put our feet” and how to best use our strength. Then, when we give even a tiny bit of effort, He basically pulls us up. We simply can’t do everything on our own, but He is there to carry us.
I thought about these things the whole way up, and I felt so grateful that Someone was watching out for me–that day and throughout my life. After I had gone around on the high wires and walked through all the trees, I was preparing to rappel down. There was a lady next to me who was on her way up–just inches from the top.
“I’m not strong enough,” she said. “I’m not going to be able to do this.”
I called to her, “Just start to push a little bit, and he’ll lift you the rest of the way.”
She did, and he did. It was the sweetest feeling to see her at the top.
There’s a Higher Power that wants us to succeed. He is here to help us every day. As we talk with Him, trust Him, do our best, let Him lift us, and give Him thanks, He will continue to be our companion and our friend. He is so good. I can’t say that enough because I am reminded of that every day.
So yes, clean off your desk, get your emails to zero, create your lists, and process those paper piles, but let’s make a commitment to each other that before all the “doing,” we check in and make sure we’re doing the right things, in the right way, with the right Support.
To connect more with us here at LearnDoBecome:
Download our free guide: Five Life-Changing Habits Most People Overlook.
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Wow! Just wanted to say thank you for the positive message. My husband and I needed to hear that now more than ever. We have a newborn and a 17 month old and my husband just started his first year as a principal. We are so exausted that we often forget there is someone here to help, someone who knows that we can handle these tough, yet rewarding times. Thank you again!
What a wonderful analogy! Thank you for sharing!
I love the analogy!
Crystal Dever says
SUCH a brilliant analogy!! So good!
I’ve been feeling particularly overwhelmed lately. After reading this I got an intense feeling of, “yeah, I got this”. Love it. Thank-you!!
Reading this was the best possible use of the last few minutes. I cannot tell you how much it was needed, and needed RIGHT NOW. We’ve been pushing and running almost faster than we have strength lately, and wondering how we were going to make it through the next 6 weeks. Thank you for the analogy and the reminder! I feel better already.
Thank you, SO much for this podcast. I could not agree more. God is so good. I really needed to be reminded that we do have help, we just have to ask, and quiet ourselves enough to hear the answer.
Many blessings to you and your family.
I loved this! I absolutely agree! Thank you for sharing this important message!
For the bigger issues, the hardest part for me sometimes is listening and waiting patiently for a response. I forget sometimes to talk to God about my day to day activities though, and your analogy is such a helpful reminder!
April, that was beautiful!!! I know that if we remember to keep the Lord in the forefront of our minds, it makes our days more meaningful and rewarding. Thank you for the much needed reminder. Sending hugs, your Long Beach TOFW friend, Susie 😉
I just want to thank you for sharing your faith and your message. In today’s world so many hesitate to talk about God, especially in their workplace, in fear of offending someone. So thanks again and God bless you both.
Thank you for your words today. I almost skipped over your email because I have “so much to do!” I am at a crossroad in my life- career and relationship. I needed to read your words for that gentle reminder that God is holding me and if I go to HIM, he will lead me.
I love this! Thank you so much for sharing. Sometimes we get so caught up in the world, and I especially need those reminders to think about spiritual support, not just the latest and greatest article or book. Also, I’m wondering if by chance this experience took place at Aspen Grove? I had a similar experience there, but unfortunately I wasn’t able to complete the course because my body was weak, and my fear was too strong (and I had a 7-month old, so I was pretty exhausted, too). 🙂
Anna Heywood says
This post really touched my heart! I can’t say that I have ever thought of my relationship with my Heavenly Father in terms of productivity before, but this principle, taught through your great analogy, really rang true for me. Thank you for this life lesson and for being transparent about your own beliefs. So inspiring!
This is fantastic. (Wish you all could do a drive by and help me get down to zero and throw the papers away.) I loved the story and it is so true!
Thank you so much for sharing this. It is such a powerful message – and definitely overlooked when talking about productivity! I know that I’ve experienced some of the best satisfaction when working in tandem with God’s plan for me. And when I ask for His help, I accomplish more than I could even believe was possible.
April Perry says
Kristen, I love hearing about your experience! What a beautiful way to express it: “working in tandem with God’s plan.” You are doing incredible things!!
LOVED this Broadcast!! What an inspiring message and so true. I am so glad I joined your mastery program in more ways than one. So wonderful to hear people Not be afraid to share their faith !
April Perry says
Thank you so much, Jeannette! We’re thrilled to have you with us, and we appreciate your incredible support. xo
Natalie Peterson says
Thank you for sharing your story. It is undoubtedly true. I know our Father in Heaven cares about the most minute details of our lives. If it matters to us, it matters to Him. The more time and experience as a parent, the more I understand how our Heavenly Father feels about us. The parental love is strong and as a parent I just want my children to be happy. And so it goes with God. He loves us more than we can comprehend and wants us to be happy and return to Him. I feel a greater desire to run these details of my life/day past Him, the One who knows my plan and who is there with support backing my climb. Once again, thank you for sharing and for all you do.
April Perry says
Natalie, your strengthening words made my morning! Love having you with us here at LearnDoBecome. xoxoxo
I am motivated by this article! Thank you for helping me see the connection between our goals and God. God was there to help me when I was at my very weakest in the hospital, I know now that I was NOT alone, even in isolation in ICU.
Now I will remember to keep pushing myself and thank God.
April Perry says
Carrie, thank you so much for sharing your experience. It’s inspiring to know that you’ve felt that help, as well. Much love.
That you both for sharing your thoughts, insights, experience, & expertise.
Marigrace Miller says
April and Eric,
I really appreciate you guys and the programs and pod casts that you have created more than you will ever know. Everything is extremely inspirational and it is so nice to not only learn how to become more organized but also simultaneously strengthen my connection to God. I didn’t fully realize that day when I decided to join Step Mastery how it was going to be so much more than organizing my life. Thank you so much. You guys are Awesome. Have a blessed day 🙂
April Perry says
Just wanted to send a big hug! Thank you so much for your kind message! It keeps us going to know that friends are joining us online. So happy to be here with you!
Joanna Watson says
Such a powerful message, and I love it! I think what I love most is Eric’s role-play of the conversation that might have gone on in your head when telling your story and the guy said, “Talk to me”.
When my children were younger and we’d be driving places, out of nowhere I would take on a British accent (probably from watching Super Nanny on the tele back then) and have a 2-sided conversation (with myself). The girls would inevitably end up laughing and they’d say do it again, more! In the moment I could be so funny, these skits that I did for my kids, I don’t know why I did them at the time, but my daughters still say “remember when mom pretended to talk on the phone in some accent! That was the best!” I just had a flashback when Eric did that in this video so had to share. <3
thank you for your powerful conversations and mindful messages, I look forward to them daily.
April Perry says
Such a SWEET experience!! I love that. Thank you for sharing it here!