Digging out and shaking off

Calendar shows April 15, taxes due

Digging through paperwork and trying to find missing reciepts for tax time exposed that there was one big area of my life that I had just ignored for 6-7 months: The move’s impact on our finances.

We did fine through the move. We’re doing fine now. And like I’ve mentioned before, we’re taking all the right steps to be in great shape into the future. That’s not the point of this post at all.

The point of this post is simple –– there are areas of your life that you simply have to take control. You can’t ignore stuff and hope that it’ll be alright. Nor can you just pretend that it will all go away if you just put it into a nice little pile. In our case, we were fortunate and when I finally did open the vault everything will be just fine when about 5 checks clear the bank. But it could have been a lot worse.

The same is true for a lot of things in life. I’ve had a longstanding weakness of avoiding things I didn’t want to deal with and foolishly hoping that they would just fix themselves. I’ve even tried to outsmart myself and those around me by over-doing some areas while completely ignore others.

I have a feeling I’m not the only one who does this.

– People ignore a project at work and try to distract their failure with success in another area at work.

– Men tend to focus on work to avoid family issues. (Sorry for the generalization there)

– We keep our schedules too full to avoid dealing with our walk with God.

– We focus our ministry around a big event or a mission trip to distract from a larger problem we don’t want to deal with.

– Kids will pay attention to the TV so they can pretend you didn’t tell them to clean their rooms.

– High school kids will join a club or even get a job to avoid going to a youth group they are bored with.

dog_shake_waterThe thing is, Tax Day is coming. The things that we avoid will eventually need to be addressed. It doesn’t matter how much we ignore areas of our life which make us uncomfortable… eventually we’ll just have to deal with them. And it is way better to deal with those things today than it will be tommorow. That’s where accountability comes in. We all need people in our life who lovingly help us draw boundaries. When we were kids we had those people built in as parents, teachers, and church leaders helped keep us on track.

Adults need to find people in their lives whom they are willing to allow to go there and ask the hard questions. “Adam, what is it that you’re avoiding?” What a tremendous question for self-reflection!

If you find yourself concentrating too much on one area of your life to avoid another… my only advice comes from my dog. Shake it off.

By Adam McLane

Kristen and Adam live in Ahwahnee, California.

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