Andy Stanley has a motivating teaching about creating guardrails in your life. His proposal seems pretty basic – obvious, really. Have some safety zones, without being too constrictive. A margin for error, just in case things don’t work the way you expected. And a Plan B if they don’t work out at all.
His wife, Sandra, told an interesting story during an interview about choosing to homeschool their children. On the one hand, she felt drawn to homeschooling. On the other, she had serious and realistic concerns about not only being successful, but also properly caring for her two other children, both pre-schoolers at the time.
She and Andy decided they would try to homeschool on a trial basis after talking with other parents. She even started her eldest a little early. Sandra joked, “If it was a disaster, I knew I could always enroll him in the local kindergarten.”
It turns out that homeschooling worked for them. Every year, they’d take another look at their schedule and how their children were progressing to decide if it was right “this year”. “This year” turned into ten.
It’s a simple illustration, but there’s a lot to be learned from the Stanleys:
- They had a realistic understanding of what homeschooling might entail.
- They didn’t act impulsively; they researched how other families managed homeschooling. How many of us excitedly jump into projects, and then wish later we had slowed down?
- They had the long view. (Probably my favorite.) They continued to revisit their schedule to understand if homeschooling still fit. At one point it didn’t, and they put their kids in the neighborhood school.
This week, follow their example. Step out in faith on that new idea, but give yourself a little extra room. A chance to recover gracefully if there’s a surprise or two. Let your creativity flourish, but don’t be shy about slowing down a little. As Gandhi once said, “Speed is irrelevant if you’re traveling in the wrong direction.”