Years ago, I read Eugene’ Peterson’s A Long Obedience in the Same Direction. To be honest, I don’t remember much of the book, but the title has long stuck with me.
It’s become a continual mantra for the daily habits, beliefs, thought patterns, and actions that I use to guide my life.
A Long Obedience in the Same Direction
It’s fairly typical for me to have a panic attack on Monday morning. I suffer from anxiety; from the fear of what could be.
At times, it’s overwhelming.
In those moments of lost despair, I’ve trained myself to recall the phrase and title of the book, a long obedience in the same direction.
The fear comes from my desire to do it all.
To break free of that fear, I have to remind myself that I don’t have to do it all right now.
My destination is not complete today, instead, I am on the journey.
So what would obedience look like today?
That’s a much simpler proposition:
- Respond to emails
- Call clients
- Spend time with my family
- Eat well
- Encourage someone
- Get to bed on time
While the specific formula to each day may look different, I guide my life by answering the question: what do I need to do today that could get me one step closer to my goal?
Once I have that figured out, I create the plan for obedience.
Create The Plan – Then Execute
One of the phrases we use throughout coaching is, to begin with the end in mind.
Where do you want to end up in life?
What do you want to accomplish?
Who do you want to be?
Then we can look at your current situation.
If you continue to make the same choices, will you end up where you want to be?
If so, great! Continue to amplify those decisions and live more purposefully.
However, if you won’t end up where you want to be by making similar choices, then it’s time to make a change.
Chart a new path.
Choose a new direction.
Create momentum that will propel you to your ideal life.
Then, practice obedience and begin a long obedience in the same direction.