DSC_0559Outcomes are not my responsibility. I am at a men’s “prayer summit” this week and I will post a few thoughts from the “summit.” This is some quick hits of things I’m thinking about this week. It is important to pull back from routine regularly and calibrate.

This thought has come to me consistently and almost continuously over the past 24 hours, “The outcomes are not my responsibility.” The perfectionist in me wants to qualify that statement. Yes, I take responsibility for my decisions and actions, but there is so much in life I cannot control. Fear keeps me from starting, but starting is my chief responsibility. I cannot control ultimate outcomes. I can only trust that if I do the right things the right things will happen.

I always thought that if I was “good enough” and if I worked hard enough, I could keep my family safe, healthy, provided for, and we could live the life I envisioned in my head. It is my responsibility to see the vision, to start the journey, be faithful to what I hear in my heart, take action, etc., etc., but the end result is not the object, the object is day to day obedience, trust, and action. There are simply a lot of things along the way I cannot control.

Am I to take LESS action? Am I to sit passively and just LET life happen? No, I will be a man of action. I will be a starter. I will dream dreams and see visions and I will pursue them with faith and courage. But when the circumstances of life make it impossible to ZIG, I will ZAG.

[shareable]When the circumstances of life make it impossible to ZIG, I will ZAG.[/shareable]

Ok, typical of the way I think… here are three action points to help us do this:

First, Hear

My mission in life is to listen to the heartbeat of the Father and to write, speak, and do what I hear. I take the time to listen and I am committed to following the paths I believe God is leading me on. Meditation, prayer, journaling are important. Every successful person I’ve ever met has a quiet time in their daily routine to think. I use my quiet time to listen. Pacing and shouting during your prayer time is a good thing, I do it more often than you’d think, but I find that what God has to say is always more important than what I have to say. I need to listen.

Second, Trust

When I listen, and I hear, I then must trust what I’m hearing. This is cultivated. I must position myself that the outcomes are not my responsibility, but acting upon what I hear is my responsibility. If I fail to START because the end result is not guaranteed, then I will never start. I have to trust God to orchestrate the end result.

But, its not enough that I trust God… I have to trust God in me. I have to trust my relationship and my ability to hear clearly. Sometimes I get it right, sometimes I get it wrong, but I must have the COURAGE to go forward on what I sincerely believe is right. Even if I am wrong, if I proceed with a pure and sincere heart (Psalm 25), God is still able to orchestrate the right outcome.

[shareable]It is not enough to trust God… I must trust God in me.[/shareable]

Third, Act

Pull the trigger. Take action. Don’t try to do, do. If I sit around trying to clarify everything I will never take action. There is a time for waiting, a time for being certain, a time for testing the waters, a time for thinking, a time for caution, a time for observation… But, for-crying-out-loud, make a decision to pull the trigger and get on with it. You have to trust enough to get on with it.

Hey, a lot of this is self-talk. I struggle with this every day of my life.

I am emboldened when I realize the outcomes are not my responsibility. Taking action and doing what I know to do is my responsibility. I cannot foresee the unexpected. I don’t know how long I will live. I don’t know how long my loved ones will live. I do not know when tragedy will strike (again). I cannot control governments, the economy, politics, or evil people. I can control my obedience and the actions I take.

I will do my best to (1) clearly listen, then I will (2) trust myself enough to act, and then (3) I will trust God to bring about HIS outcome.