Step Back

We could be so focused on the present that we failed to see the bigger picture. We often make that mistake. We get so consumed by what’s happening now and fail to see other things.

In a way that’s a virtue; to be focused, to be singular minded. But in some other way, it could be a vice. That is why wisdom calls for us to step back from time to time so as not to get consumed by the pressure of the moment thereby losing our why and focusing on the what instead.

In sports, they call it “time out.” When a coach notices his/her team is getting nowhere with the game and appears to be having things mix up on the field of play, they may decide to call a time out—to reassess, give the team a breather and re-strategize. It’s the coach opportunity to give the team new direction based on his own assessment of the game from his vantage position. Many teams have made a terrific comeback from such breaks.

Friend, if you think you’re done and can’t take any more, maybe what you actually need to call is a “Time Out” not “Game Over.” Calling time out allows you to rediscover the reason why you’re actually in it and put things back into perspective. It saves you from the tyranny of the present which has a tendency to make us do crazy things that we’d later regret.

So how do we step back? Very simple: Just take a break. Go on a walk. Take a day, a week, a month or even a year off. Go on a retreat. Do something different. Just do anything to free yourself from the tyranny of the present.

If there ever was a man under constant pressure and frequent harassment, it was the Lord Jesus Christ. But from time to time, he would break away from the crowd and even his own disciples and go out all by himself. Matthew 13:1 records one of many: “That day Jesus went out of the house and was sitting by the sea.” That’s the way to go.