The Hits Just Keep on Coming

And the Rut Just Keeps Getting Deeper

It’s Sunday afternoon and after getting home from church, Gene is back at his desk (the dining table) working on the third construction bid. He would rather be watching the NASCAR race, but there’s just not enough time for both.

Some people would say that getting three of the four bids done is pretty good. There are a lot of people in construction that wouldn’t sweat this, but it bothers Gene to not follow through on what he said he would do.

It’s getting late and the family has already gone to bed as he starts the next bid.

At 1:15 AM Monday morning, Gene decides to go to bed even though the bid isn’t done yet. He needs to get up in a few hours and do some actual construction work.

It’s Monday morning and Gene is on his way to one of the two projects that he has going. It’s 7:00 AM and he’s supposed to meet Tony at the first project at 7:30.

Tony works for Gene. He’s been working for him now for almost a year. He does good work and knows construction. This allows Gene the flexibility to split up and work on more projects.

Gene starts unloading the tools and getting the things ready that Tony’s going to need. This project is setting some new interior doors.

It’s 8:00 AM and Tony hasn’t shown up yet…Gene calls him, but there’s no answer. Where is he?

This job needs to be done this week.

Tony was supposed to pick up the new doors on his way to the job this morning. Gene calls the lumber yard, and they haven’t seen anything of Tony yet. Gene goes to work, removing the first door that’s going to be replaced, as he waits on Tony.

Still, no Tony, and Gene has three doors out. He calls the lumber yard and it’s going to be a couple of hours before they will be able to get them delivered. He doesn’t want to take out any more until the new ones are installed in these openings. It looks like Gene needs to go get some doors.

Gene heads to the lumber yard to go get the doors.

Gene’s hurrying down the highway in route to the lumber yard when he hears a siren. He looks in his mirror and right behind him are flashing red and blue lights. He looks down at the speedometer and wouldn’t you know it….70 in a 55.

He pulls over and starts getting his driver’s license and insurance information ready. The Highway Patrol Officer comes up and says, “Do you know why I pulled you over?”

“Yes officer, I was in a hurry to get to the lumber yard and get some doors for a job,” Gene replies.

The officer takes the license and insurance card back to his car and Gene waits. While he’s waiting, he tries to call Tony again…still no answer.

The officer comes back and gives Gene a speeding ticket for $150.00.

The day is not getting any better.

Gene makes his way to the lumber yard, gets the doors, goes back to the job site, and gets to work setting doors.

It’s lunch time, still no Tony and he’s still not answering his phone. He must be sick, Gene thinks. It looks like Gene is going to need to stay and work on this job today. He’s already called the customer of the second job to let them know that he’s not going to make it today.

It’s 6:00 PM and Gene got four of the seven doors changed. He’s loading up tools and picking up the job site. He never heard back from Tony, so he’s going to drive by his house on the way home.

As Gene pulls up, he sees Tony’s truck in his drive, so he must be home. He goes up and knocks on the door. As the door opens, Tony is standing there and he doesn’t look sick at all. He does look a little guilty though.

“So, what happened today?” Gene asks, “You were supposed to work on setting doors today.”

Tony looks down at the ground and says, “Ya, I know. I should have called you and let you know I wasn’t going to be there.”

“What happened? Why didn’t you show up or at least call me?” Gene asked.

“Well,” Tony said, “You know that big construction company that’s doing that big project out on the edge of town? I saw the production manager at the hardware store on Saturday and he offered me a job making two dollars an hour more than you’re paying me…and I started today.”

Gene looked him in the eye and said, “So, you took it and started today without even letting me know! I can’t believe you would do that. You knew I was depending on you.”

And the rut just keeps getting deeper and deeper.

Be Who God Made You To Be

Don’t Be Afraid to Witness Boldly

God made each and every one of us exactly how He wanted us to be. We are unique and different and have skills that are specific to us. 

It’s up to us to be willing to use our skills the way they were intended. 

As a Christian, it can be scary to talk about our faith. We may not know what others believe and don’t want to impose our beliefs on them. This “kid glove” viewpoint seems to be more and more common.  

A recent article in The Washington Stand, written by Sara Holliday pointed out that 40% of British Christians prefer not to share their faith. According to a recent survey, British Christians seem to be going through a bit of a “self-confidence crisis”, as phrased by the researcher. 

“Authorized by the Institute for the Impact of Faith in Life (IIFL) and steered by Whitestone Insight, the survey, “Britain’s attitudes to faith in public life,” received responses from 2,064 U.K. adults between May 1 and 2 of 2024. Author Dr. Jake Scott emphasized, “Data were weighted to be representative of all U.K. adults.” Among several key findings, perhaps the most eye-opening was that roughly 40% of the Christian respondents prefer to keep their faith to themselves and out of “the workplace and politics.” 

Some other statistics include “49% of religious respondents” who were opposed to seeing more religion in the media, and 27% felt religion was not necessarily “a force for good in society.” This isn’t exactly encouraging news.”  

This doesn’t sound very bold. 

“However, there were two positives — maybe even encouraging — aspects to these results worth recognizing. 

First, there was a distinction between “exclusivist” Christians and “cultural” Christians — the former being “those who believe their religion is the only true faith,” and the latter being “those who were baptized but attend church infrequently and do not strongly identify with the Christian faith.”  

The exclusivists were far more willing to share their faith, as they are called to in Scripture. And we can’t be too surprised the cultural Christians, who don’t appear to take their faith seriously, don’t take intentionally sharing their faith seriously. 

The second encouraging point was the influence faith seems to have on younger generations such as Gen Z. As reported, “69% of respondents within the 18-24 year old bracket believe their faith significantly impacts their lives,” 72% “find faith helps them find purpose in life,” 78% “feel their faith has shaped their moral values,” and 53% “believe their faith to be the only true religion.” 

Reading about Christians intentionally keeping their faith to themselves and not having an optimistic view of their faith should motivate us to offer some encouragement. Moving forward, let’s not focus on these statistics.  

Scripture calls us to be bold, not timid. It calls us to share our faith, not purposefully keep it to ourselves. 

In Acts 4:1-13, Peter and John are arrested and taken before the rulers, elders, and teachers of the law because they healed a crippled man. Peter told them that the power that healed the man was Jesus, the man they killed.  

The members of the council were amazed at the boldness of Peter and John because they were just ordinary men with no special training in the Scriptures. But they were with Jesus. 

Being bold doesn’t mean we shout from a mountain top or get up in someone’s face. We can be bold by living our daily lives the way God made us. 

We are all ordinary. Made just the way God wanted us. It’s up to us to witness boldly the way He made us. 

A Blueprint for Building a Better Business

You Need a Plan if You’re Going to Build a Successful Business.


It was late on a Saturday night and Gene was sitting at his desk in his home office (otherwise known as a dining table). This was the office of his construction company.  

He was working to get at least one more construction proposal done before going to bed. He had promised four different customers proposals this week. If all goes well, he’ll have this second one finished before midnight. As Gene crunched numbers, he worried that he might have forgotten something. This had happened before.  

He asked himself, “Why am I doing this? I could make more money and work less hours working for someone else. Heck, I’d be better off flipping burgers. This sure isn’t how I pictured my construction business five years ago when I started.” 

“I had no idea that running my own business would be this hard!” 

Gene rubbed his eyes and stretched his back and thought, “I must be doing something wrong.”   

It’s Saturday, and Gene was working like crazy all week, trying to keep up. With production crews not showing up, materials not delivered on time, cost overruns… There’s not enough time to do everything. This means not enough time to get the proposals done. Even if he works tomorrow, he’s not going to get all these proposals done in time. This means he’s going to disappoint at least one of the customers waiting on a proposal. 

This is not a very good way to run a business! “How am I ever going to turn things around?” 

When Gene finishes the second proposal and looks at the clock, it’s 12:40. It’s already Sunday and he still needs to proofread it, print it, and sign it.  

Something has got to change!  

“I’ve been leaving home early and getting home late all week. I’ve hardly spoken with my wife or kids for days. I can’t keep going like this!”  

“I’m tired of trudging back and forth in this rut with no clear way out.” 

Why Is Change So Hard?

This Seems Especially True for Construction

Change is the biggest issue that the construction industry faces. Why are people in construction so bullheaded? They are some of the most stubborn and headstrong people. 

This starts at a young age. As children, we have fewer external experiences to draw from. This restricted resource limits our view. This is why young people think they already know everything. 

This narrow perspective then becomes our standard and we see no reason to change. 

I think this is why resistance to change is so prevalent in construction.  

We’re like little kids that started out working for someone. We learned how they did things by watching them. This is why when we start our own construction business, we think we already know everything. 

I was a dreamer at an early age. I had big ideas and plans for my life. A part of this dream was to have a big, successful construction company. I was going to build great things. 

So, I worked for a few different self-employed contractors and then started my own construction company… 

Because I already knew everything.  

As I grew up and those dreams weren’t happening as I had envisioned…I became disillusioned. I gave up on those dreams and accepted that they were just that…dreams. This is when the grind of life sets in. It was disappointing to accept that this is all there is.  

It was frustrating, just plodding along day after day feeling stuck with no way out. 

Then, one day I was smacked upside the head and had a life changing wake-up call.

In December of 2012, I was literally hit upside the head with a board among other things. We were installing wafer board boxing on the wall of a second-floor addition. I was standing on a plank approximately 8’ above the ground when…it broke. 

Fortunately, I don’t remember any of this ordeal from the time I was measuring until I woke up in the hospital three days later.  

Based on what I was told by the guys that were there when I fell, I hit my head on one of the ladders, then on the concrete slab, and then the board hit me on the head. It sure is good that I have a hard head. Seriously, I was fortunate that I came away from this accident with only a concussion. 

The point of telling you this is that it caused me to reevaluate what I was doing and how I was doing it. 

This incident made me aware that something was wrong and if things were going to change…I needed to change it. As I was looking to understand what was going on, I began to read. The more information I gathered, the more I learned about what needed to change. 

One of the first books I read was The Traveler’s Gift by Andy Andrews. This book teaches seven fundamental decisions for creating a successful life. It gives you a front-row seat for a man’s journey that changes his life.  

In the book, David Ponder lost his job and his will to live. He supernaturally travels throughout time visiting historical figures such as Abraham Lincoln, King Solomon, Anne Frank, and more.  

Each visit yields a Decision for Success that will change his life if he implements them. 

This book showed me that I, like David Ponder, had a choice.  

Was I going to keep doing things the way I had been…or was I going to do something different? 

I decided to change and do something different.  

When we’re young we think we have all the time we need. There’s no need to think about the future…we’ll get around to that someday. Then, one day we wake up and realize life has flown by and we haven’t done the things we wanted to.  

You don’t have to wait until you’re smacked in the head to make changes. 

I made changes to my life and my business. People who knew me before and after can see the improvement.  

Change is a choice, and you can choose to change. 

If you’re in construction and would like to learn more about some of the changes I made and how you can make those same changes, check out solutions for building a better construction business. You can also check out our business building tools and trainings or schedule a free 30-minute construction company consultation to learn more.

What Made You Start Your Construction Company?

If You’re Like Most People in Construction, You Don’t Know…

Last week we discussed how 96% of construction companies go out of business within the first 10 years. This is a problem if you’re in construction.

As I was discussing last week’s post with a friend, he asked me why I do construction. Why would anyone want to start a construction company with odds like this? This question started me thinking about it.

Why is anyone doing construction if the chance of staying in business is so stacked against them? This question prompted me to reach out to some people in construction and ask them.

Why am I doing construction and how did I get here?

When I was growing up, I knew exactly what I was going to do. I was going to farm with my dad, just like he was farming with his. This was going well until those plans got changed.

When I was in my early thirties my dad died of cancer at fifty. This wasn’t a part of the plan.

At that point we were farming together, he owned some of the equipment and I owned some. The problem was, I couldn’t afford to buy his part so…I got out of farming.

In addition to farming, I had been doing some construction in the winter. I liked doing it, was good at it, so this seemed like the logical thing to do.

The problem was I knew construction…not business.

So, why are others doing construction and how did they get here?

To answer this question, I reached out to some people I know that are in construction and asked them the question…Why are you in construction?

I’ve known Doug Wright, with Wright Floor Leveling, for years and have used their company for a variety of projects over the years. They do foundation repair/replacement, crawl space repair, basement repair, masonry repair, new masonry, and more.

Here’s Doug’s story: he did not plan to go into construction…he planned to play football. Then he was injured in college, and it ended his football plans.

His dad was a stone mason and Doug needed a job, so he went to work for him. As things progressed, he became more entrenched in the business, and the prospects for change became harder and harder.

Not to mention that he wasn’t a fan of change.

So, Doug is doing the construction that he knows and is good at.

Chris Schovan is a painter that hasn’t been in business too long but is great at what he does.

Chris learned to paint as a young man from his grandpa who was a professional painter. His grandfather told him that knowing a trade would always give you something to fall back on.

He was working for a pole barn company and/or in manufacturing when the pandemic hit, and he got laid off. Then someone at church needed some painting done and asked him if he knew any painters. He ended up doing this project which led to other projects and he’s now as busy as he’s ever been.

He likes the freedom of schedule because he doesn’t have to punch a clock.

I use Chris because he provides great customer service and does quality work.

I’ve known Josh Dobbs of Flint Ridge Service and his family for a long time. Josh was a firefighter and planned to be fire chief someday until smalltown politics derailed that dream.

While considering what to do next, he was talking with some guys in real estate and the glass business who told him there was a need for someone to do handyman-type things. So, he started doing some odd jobs. As the demand grew, so did his business. Now he does a variety of construction, excavation, and fencing.

He had never done construction before he started doing odd jobs.

Josh uses the leadership skills he learned in the fire department and the ability to see a need and then figures out how to do it.

Leonard Mumford, of Mumford Contracting, is the owner of a full-service construction company. Leonard and I work together in a variety of different ways.

Leonard was in construction years ago and after going out of business, he swore he would never do construction again. He worked in oil field and sales but was miserable. Then he had the opportunity to do some construction work on the side and was making more money part time.

Then his son convinced him to go back into construction…which he swore he never would.

Now Leonard is doing more construction than ever.

The common thread in all these stories is that none of them grew up dreaming about going into construction…playing football or being a fireman, yes, but not construction.

Not everybody knows what their vocation is going to be. Things happen and we have to shift and make changes. These changes, some big and some small, lead us down paths that we didn’t plan for.

This lack of preparation and planning is why 96% of construction companies don’t make it past the 10-year mark.

Three of these five examples here have made it past that point, but trust me, this doesn’t mean that everything is smooth sailing.

All of them have expressed concerns about the business side of things.

This concern is common and why at Solution Building, we’re working to help construction companies with business tools and training to alleviate some of those concerns.

If you would like some help with your construction company’s struggles schedule a free 30-minute consultation.

Chances Are Your Construction Company is Going to Fail

How Can You Change the Odds in Your Favor?

According to the US Department of Commerce, 96% of construction companies fail within the first 10 years. This is a higher failure rate than any other kind of business.

If you’re in construction…this is a problem.

Having been in construction for more than 40 years, I understand how hard it can be to build a successful business. It takes a lot more than just knowing construction to be successful. Knowing business is as important as knowing construction.

Over those 40 years, I became aware of the problems and began to understand them. I gathered information and learned how to implement it into my business.

That’s why I beat the odds.

I’ve learned a lot over those forty-plus years and here are 7 reasons that construction companies fail:

  1. Insufficient Cash Flow – Without a positive cash flow, it is hard for construction companies to keep their doors open. A lack of cash flow makes it hard to pay for materials, make payroll, maintain tools, etc.

When cash flow is negative, companies often make hasty decisions or take on jobs that aren’t a good fit for their company. This can result in further profit loss and more cash flow problems.

  1. Unprofitable Projects – A lot of construction companies fail simply because their projects are unprofitable. Guessing at what a project is going to cost to do is not a very good plan. This is why having a proposal system that is consistent and accurate is essential to staying in business.

At Timber Creek Construction using our Proposal system, we consistently come in 25% under budget. This is in before overhead and profit.

  1. Doing Estimates Rather than Proposals – It’s essential to establish clear communication with construction customers. Creating a detailed proposal, rather than just estimating, gives both the construction company and the customer a clear understanding of what will be provided and what they can expect. Following up with a contract is another step to achieving this goal.

There are as many bad customers out there as there are bad contractors. Some of those customers simply want to get the work done for free. They will argue about things that, they claim, were promised. A signed proposal and contract will help to prevent this from happening. 

  1. No Production Payment Plan – Having an accurate and understandable payment schedule with construction customers will set your construction company on the road to success. Not having a payment schedule requires your company to finance the project and consumes your cash flow. You are not a bank.

In my experience, you need to get some money prior to starting a project. This amount will depend on the size and type of project. Then invoice the customer with weekly progress payments that coincide with the percentage of completed work as outlined in the proposal. Customers appreciate a well-documented payment schedule that communicates clearly.

  1. Not Using Change Orders – Unforeseen issues and changes creep into most construction projects of any size. Changes orders are needed when changes are made to the project’s scope of work. When a job change occurs, the construction company should submit a change order to the customer for approval. Waiting until the end of the job to bill for additional costs will be problematic. It will often result in customers being upset, giving bad reviews, and resisting paying.

Customers get excited about the work that is being done until the final bill comes. Then they find themselves over extended and unable to pay.

  1. Poor Customer Service – Most construction companies don’t listen to their customers very well. These companies just focus on completing the work according to the contract. If they get paid, they assume all is good. But remember, construction companies are in the business of serving customers, this includes communicating clearly and consistently.

Most customers will only do a handful of sizable construction projects in their lifetime. Construction companies should remember this and help them build their dream.

  1. Lack of Organization and Processes – Building a sustainable construction business is impossible when the bulk of the business is operating without being organized. To stay in business, you need processes and systems that can be efficiently managed by the people you hire to help you.

For companies that use sticky notes and boxes full of folders, you have a problem. 

Job leads and customer management, project details, task management, communications, schedules, progress tracking, equipment management, the list goes on and on. Each of these elements is extremely time-consuming, error prone, and can negatively affect profitability and cash flow.

You can avoid making the same mistakes most construction companies make by being aware of and understanding these problems. Then implementing and learning processes and systems to ensure that your company succeeds.

This will help you to be in the top 4% of businesses in the construction industry.

Successful construction companies use business tools to build, increase profits, and manage their businesses. Now that you have a clear understanding why construction companies fail, it’s time to make some course corrections.

To help you with this we have a Business Building Toolbox with tools that can help you change the odds in your favor. We also offer training and implementation of these tools into your business if that would be helpful. If you have questions, schedule a free 30-minute construction company consultation.

Can We Have Wisdom Like Solomon?

Hopefully We’re Wiser Than He Was

Making decisions can be a hard thing. Should I do this, or should I do that? It’s easier when there’s a clear choice of good or bad.

It’s much harder when it’s deciding between good and good.

Wouldn’t it be nice if God would just tell us what to do?

The problem with this is that we would not have free will. We would be nothing more than puppets. We wouldn’t like that either.

We just need wisdom to help us make these choices.

Solomon is often associated with wisdom. In 1 Kings 3:5-15, God comes to Solomon in a dream and asks him what he wants.

Solomon was a young man and had become the leader of a huge nation. He asks God for, “…an understanding heart so that I can govern your people well and know the difference between right and wrong. For who by himself is able to govern this great people of yours?”

The Lord was pleased that Solomon asked for wisdom.

So, God replied, “Because you have asked for wisdom in governing my people with justice and have not asked for a long life or wealth or the death of your enemies— I will give you what you asked for! I will give you a wise and understanding heart such as no one else has had or ever will have!

And I will also give you what you did not ask for—riches and fame! No other king in all the world will be compared to you for the rest of your life!

And if you follow me and obey my decrees and my commands as your father, David, did, I will give you a long life.”

Later, Solomon starts listening to the wrong voices…mainly his 1000 wives. (1 Kings 11:1-13)

“In Solomon’s old age they turned his heart to worship other gods instead of being completely faithful to the Lord his God, as his father, David had been. In this way, Solomon did what was evil in the Lord’s sight; he refused to follow the Lord completely.

The Lord was very angry with Solomon, for his heart had turned away from the Lord…”

Both David and Solomon received direction and blessings from God, but their lives ended up drastically different.

David made plenty of mistakes, but he repented and realigned with God. Solomon, on the other hand, did not. This resulted in consequences for Solomon’s family and the entire kingdom.

We need to constantly be in communication with God. This ongoing, nonstop connection is the only way that we can align our desires with His. Sure, we’ll make mistakes and wrong decisions. This is what happens in a fallen world.

But we also have the power of choice and can ask for forgiveness and repent of those mistakes. David chose this and Solomon didn’t.

We need to align what we ask from God with God.

The Journey to Finding Our True Calling

Take Off Your Shoes…You’re Standing on Holy Ground

This journey called life can be difficult. We want control over our lives. We want to call the shots. Too often, this means pushing back and taking the easy road. Pushing back isn’t a very good plan, just ask Moses.

Moses pushed back and gave God excuses of why he was the wrong one to go. (Exodus 4:10-17) Through all of Moses’ excuses, he moved forward fulfilling God’s calling.

Other than Jesus, Moses is the most well-known character in the Bible. He played multiple roles throughout his life. It’s easy to glamourize Biblical characters who accomplish great things, but they were people just like us.

Let’s look at how Moses became Moses.

He was born to Jochebed and Amram, both from the tribe of Levi, when the children of Israel lived in Egypt as slaves. He was the youngest of three children, with a sister named Miriam and a brother named Aaron.

This was a time when the Pharaoh was afraid of the Israelite slaves because there were so many of them and he ordered all the boy Israelite babies to be killed. Moses’ mother,

“…saw that he was a special baby and kept him hidden for three months”

When she couldn’t hide him anymore, she made a little boat, placed him in it, and hid baby Moses in the reeds on the banks of the Nile River. He didn’t stay there long before being rescued by the Pharaoh’s daughter. Being unable to nurse him, she hired a Hebrew woman to do the job. This woman just so happened to be Moses’ mother.

After Moses was old enough, the Pharaoh’s daughter raised him in the palace surrounded by all the luxuries of Egypt. (Exodus 2:1-10)

Moses grew up in the palace but knew he was a Hebrew. When Moses saw an Egyptian beating a Hebrew slave the Bible says, “Looking this way and that and seeing no one, he killed the Egyptian and hid him in the sand”.

Not the greatest coverup because the next day, a Hebrew slave called him out on it.

We all deal with fear and Moses is no different. When Pharaoh found out what Moses had done, Moses ran for his life. He lived out in the desert of Midian for 40 years as a shepherd with his new family. (Exodus 2:11-22)

Fear showed up again when God appeared to Moses in a burning bush that was on fire but did not burn up. God told Moses to not come any closer and to take his shoes off because he was standing on holy ground. (Exodus 3:1-6)

This is a Scripture I struggle with because I don’t like going barefoot, especially outside, let alone up on a mountain. Once I put my boots on in the morning, I don’t take them off until I go to bed at night.

However, if I find myself standing next to a bush that’s on fire but not burning up and God tells me to take my boots off…I’m going to take them off.

Moses removing his sandals was an act of reverence and obedience to God’s call.

Whatever God’s call to us is, we need to be willing to respect and submit to that calling.

God wanted Moses to rescue the Israelites from Egypt. Moses was afraid and gave excuse after excuse, one being that he stuttered. Moses told God, “Please send someone else”. God didn’t want to send someone else and got angry with Moses. (Exodus 3:7-4:17)

God recruited his brother Aaron to assist in overcoming Moses’ fear, promising to help them both.

Moses rose to the challenge.

When trapped between the Pharaoh and the Red Sea, Moses told the people, “Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the LORD will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again…”, and he was right. Moses led them through the Red Sea on dry ground by the power of the God. That was just the beginning of Moses’ calling.

The job God called Moses to do was full of difficulties and challenges. Moses never hid his emotions and questions from God. They spent 40 days together on top of Mount Sinai and God gave Moses “…the two tablets of the covenant law, the tablets of stone inscribed by the finger of God”.

Meanwhile, the people got tired of waiting for Moses, made an idol, and started worshiping it. This made God angry, and He offered to kill them all, making Moses into a great nation instead. “But Moses sought the favor of the Lord his God”.

God heard Moses and didn’t act on His emotions. 

For 40 years, Moses led the Israelites, and God kept His promise to always be with him. Even when Moses messed up, due to his anger, which disallowed him from entering the promised land. The Bible says Moses “whom the LORD knew face to face”. (Deuteronomy 34:10)

Excerpt from Who Was Moses in the Bible?

God calls us all to our specific purpose. We need to have an open and honest conversation with God when we don’t feel adequate. We need to be willing to step out in faith and trust that God has our back.

We need to honor God and be willing to take our shoes off if that’s what He wants us to do.

How Do You Know If You’re Heading in the Right Direction or NOT?

When it Comes to Clarity of Life Purpose, This Can Be a Hard Question to Answer

Too often, we find ourselves going through life without really knowing where we’re headed or why. This may be because of where we were born and raised, our family and community dynamic, or an unexpected situation in which we are caught.

Going through life, headed in the wrong direction leads to being lost.

People start life making decisions based on what they know. We all know of stories where the child is living out the life that is expected of them. Whether that’s following in the family business or going all in on sports because that’s what a parent wanted. Or maybe someone takes a job to pay the bills and continues to work there without any clear reason.

Or, we may have been doing exactly what we’re supposed to up until the time we need to make changes. These changes may be a slight adjustment to course, or a complete one-hundred-and-eighty-degree turnaround.

Being aware is where clarity of direction starts.

Sometimes the direction changes come in a flash of light or maybe it involves getting hit upside the head with a board. I experienced the latter.

In Act 9:1-16 Saul experiences the flash of light direction change. Saul had been persecuting the early followers of Jesus. This is how he had been raised and what he had been taught. He thought he was doing the right thing. While Saul was on his way to Damascus to round up some of the followers, he was blinded by a bright light and redirected.

Saul could have pushed back and stayed the course…but he didn’t. Instead, he chose to follow the directions given to him by Jesus. Saul became Paul and went on to do the work he had been called to do.

We need to open our eyes and ears to what we’ve been called to do.

We can be led by the crowd to do what seems like the right thing. How can we be clear on what the right thing is? Ultimately, there is an internal voice that aligns with the Word of God. We can choose to listen to it or not.

The crowd’s voice can be very loud and make it hard to hear God’s voice. We need to be aware that sometimes when we choose to listen the crowd instead of God there may be a flash of light or board coming our way.

Sometime this change of direction can be a scary thing. Going to some place out of our comfort zone may require courage. If we want to go where we’re supposed to and be obedient, we need to be willing to step out in faith.

Be open to God’s leading, and you’ll experience a life beyond your dreams.

How Do We Find the Balance of Leading and Following?

Most People Just Drift Through Life Because It Seems Easier

Leading and following can both be scary. Leading means you have the responsibility, and if things don’t go well, you can get blamed. Following requires you to give up control, and we don’t like that either.

Drifting through life without any responsibility and doing whatever we want sounds like the better easier option.

Part of what makes drifting seem like the better plan is not having a bunch of rules to follow. One thing that pushes people away from the church is all the laws that God gave us. They can seem overwhelming.

We all know about the Ten Commandments. But what about the other 613? That’s right, there are actually over six hundred commandments in the Bible.

Whether or not 613 is the exact count is not that important. What is important is that the purpose of the law was to point us to Christ. Galatians 3:24 says, “In fact, the Law was to be our teacher until Christ came. Then we could have faith and be acceptable to God”.

No one can perfectly obey all the commandments, no matter how many or few there are. In fact, no one can obey the Ten Commandments completely. The Law makes our sinfulness evident (Romans 7:7). God gave us the Law to define sin and demonstrate our need for a Savior. Jesus is the only one who has perfectly obeyed the Law. Through His life, death, and resurrection, He fulfilled all of God’s righteous commands (Matthew 5:17-18).

Drifting through life is not God’s plan for us here on earth.

He has given each of us a purpose. Fulfilling this purpose requires taking responsibility. He has given us everything we need to succeed, but it’s up to us to do it. We all have a unique purpose.

It’s up to us to figure out who we are and take the lead to fulfill our purpose.

So, who are you?

You are a unique combination of things that make you, you.

Like me, you may be a husband, a father, a son, a brother, a business owner, a township board member, and a raft of other things. But whoever you are, you are unique.

In Luke 9:18-20, Jesus asks His disciples who people say that He is. Some said John the Baptist, some said Elijah, others said a prophet from long ago. Jesus asked them, “Who do you say that I am?” Peter answered, “You are the Messiah sent from God.”

Jesus knew who He was. Peter knew who He was. The disciple knew who He was. The problem was that they had a misconception of what that meant. They thought He was going to be a powerful worldly king and ruler.

There is no question that Jesus was a popular item and people wanted to be a part of it. These people would say, “I will follow You anywhere.” Then Jesus would lay out the plan for them, and they would come up with all kinds of excuses. Luke 9:57-62

We all do this. We get one thing in our head and then we are disappointed when things aren’t what we expected.

If we believe Jesus is the Son of God and our Savior, then we need to not question Him, but follow Him. It’s all about priorities and what you choose to make most important.

The balance of leading and following is to follow Jesus and lead others to do the same.