It’s tempting to try something just because it’s shiny and new. And perhaps we reason it can’t hurt to simply try a different way. And there’s some truth here. But unless we clearly define the problem first we end up frustrated and just chasing the wind.
It’s true, there’s more than one way to skin a cat. But before exploring all these different approaches it’s helpful to consider why we’re skinning the cat in the first place.
What is the problem to which this is the solution?
All too often we rush ahead trying many different solutions without first deeply considering and clearly defining the problem we’re trying to solve.
This happens, for example, when we jump from one job to the next. Perhaps the benefits are better and our coworkers are great. But when we’re not moving toward our deep purpose there remains a restlessness in our souls.
And the answer is not simply jumping to yet another job. We must first do the work to understand our restlessness so that our next move is closer toward a true solution.
Likewise, it’s good to consider the problem we’re solving when we find ourselves impulsively buying the newest technology and toys, the latest vehicles, and a bigger house.
There’s nothing wrong with any of these things per se. And sometimes we acquire them for the sheer joy of it. But we still need to be clear on the problem we’re solving.
And this holds true when we’re presented with the latest trends in pop psychology and social thought as well.
Before blindly accepting these shiny new perspectives we must learn to ask: How does this new perspective help us to move towards God’s best? And what was missing before to which this is now the solution forward?
When we don’t first define the problem we end up accepting many solutions not in our best long-term interest. And, in fact, our blind moves often move us farther away from God’s best.
Take the time to clearly define the problem before attempting your many creative solutions. This saves you much heartache and grief and moves you closer to the life God has for you.