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I recently worked with a man whose mission is so powerful it moved him to tears. In the part of the world where he lives, there is a community that is bereft with violence, joblessness and drugs.  In the midst of an already busy life, he has been deeply moved to have an impact on that community and to specifically create a solution to the joblessness. The moment I reflected his words back to him, I could literally hear the emotion. But I heard something else too. I heard the giant question mark and a few days later he sent an email with the question “Now what?”

I just had that experience myself. I was discussing with my team the plans for the coming year – the goals I wanted to achieve, the growth in the numbers of people we serve, and then I said, “Twelve months from now, the business will have grown to two or three times the revenue it is today and I’ll be writing a check for $50,000 to a cause that I deeply care about.” No sooner did the words come out of my mouth than the tears started to run down my face. Twelve months ago, I had shared with a colleague my “impossible” goal to give away six-figures every year. It truly felt impossible at that time, but saying it now, it felt real and possible. I visualized my wife and me sitting down and writing the check. It felt great and it was almost immediately followed by the thought…Now what?

In both situations, the mission God has for us seems so clear and yet almost immediately seems so confusing. The excuses abound.

  • This mission can’t possibly fit with other areas of my life that I want to focus on
  • My wife will be resistant and it will be a point of contention in my marriage and family
  • This isn’t the right time for me to tackle this
  • Is this REALLY what God wants me to do?
  • Who am I to have such a big vision?
  • The sacrifices required are way too much for me

The excuses are understandable. After all, we serve a God who is working for good in the world and is calling you according to His purposes (Romans 8:28). Don’t you think that the opposition, the father of lies (John 8:44) is going to try to thwart those plans?

Reflect on the following questions and write down the answers on paper or type them into a document. Whatever you do, get them out of your head and heart.

  • What’s the mission or cause that God consistently brings up for you?
  • What’s the deepest purpose for your life that you haven’t allowed yourself to say out loud?
  • What excuses do you have or you could make up to NOT do anything?

Over the next month, I’ll write each week how to eliminate those excuses and powerfully answer the question, “Now what?” I’ll use my own personal journey and the story of Nehemiah as a model for you so that you can:

  1. Say what you want
  2. Create a powerful context
  3. Lead by your original design

I look forward to seeing you back here next week!

Jeff HarmonJeff Harmon is the president of Brilliance Within Coaching & Consulting which specializes in developing servant leaders while helping them translate their strategies into actionable plans that drive business results. Jeff is the author of “The Anatomy of a Principled Leader.” Jeff has been developing leaders for nearly 20 years and has led the execution of over 100,000 hours of business strategy for information technology, financial services and non-profit organizations.

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