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:
Take our free productivity class and learn about our STEP program. Steps to Everyday Productivity keeps your emails at zero, gives you mental clarity, and helps you set up a seamless system to manage all your papers, projects, ideas, and tasks. You know…all the extra stuff that supports you once you know where you’re going. 🙂