Stewardship topped my chart a few years ago when I realized how much stuff we had that we didn’t use. Since then, I actively seek to rehome anything that can better serve elsewhere. If I don’t love something or need it, it’s on it’s way out the door.
Five days ago I realized that I’m failing to be a good steward of a previously unconsidered asset; knowledge. I’m doing a rotten job of either investing or managing what I know.
Compartmentalization is the orderly division between distinctly different categories or subjects. I suspect most people (correct me if I’m wrong) divide sleep time from work time, horse play from grandkid’s soccer, and baking from cleaning closets. Mathematics and gardening aren’t scheduled for the same time.
That isn’t me.
Life as an Information Addict
I don’t (can’t?) compartmentalize. Because there’s no filing system in my brain everything is on the table all the time. How to make coffee lives next door to what I know about cumulative sentence structure, the Book of Revelation, and the horse’s system of ligaments, muscles, and bones. If knowledge were a sweater, I’d only own one sweater.
“Hi, my name is Lynn and I’m an information addict.”
No addict is a poster children for good habits. I don’t have ADHD, but sometimes I lack awareness. Once I know where I’m screwing up I can usually adjust and move forward. The difficulty, as it always is, is awareness.
Sometimes you have to bonk me on the head before I look up, “What?”
Evidence of Poor Stewardship
My mess of unmanaged information looks something like this:
- Eleven half-read printed books in my office
- Fifteen open ebooks on my ipad (I don’t want to lose my place!)
- Fifty-nine DRAFT posts on this website
- One nearly completed manuscript that’s open and active
- Eight partial and one finished manuscripts on a variety of topics
- One second-edition book (totally new project for me) in process
- Compiling the research for the next book I’ll write
- Two open DVD courses, one on Great Sentence Structure and another on Tai Chi
- Masses of amazing information from my 3-day biomechanics course
Add to that list what I do everyday with study, horses, online work, and social media. I’m no exception, I know that your life is as ridiculously busy as mine and everyone I know has stewardship challenges.
It’s never occurred to me that I’m as responsible for managing what I know as what I have.
Just When You Think You’ve Got it Right…
Last fall, when I swept every manuscript off my computer desktop except one it felt fabulous. It was a huge leap forward in productivity and direction. Creativity and vision were easier because the road ahead was clear of debris.
I’m reminded-again-that life is a process, not a once-and-done. God leads us one little step at a time – and there’s always another step.
There’s SO much to share from my biomechanics class. SO much to share from the hours we spend with the folks I’ll be writing about in my next book. Stewarding time well is vital for that project because they both have critical health issues.
You’re Accountable for What You Know
If you’re curious, do a topical bible study of knowledge. Begin with a word search. It’s fascinating and sobering. Knowledge is a big deal to God. Once you know something you become accountable for it.
There’s the rub. I keep shoving information in but fail to organize, reflect, and apply or share it well. Failure. Again.
There’s always a higher level of performance or understanding. A deep passion aside, one reason I get up and actively work on relationship with God and horses is the challenge. Most of my life I was pretty good at most things and always on the lookout for the next puzzle.
I’ll never learn everything there is to know about God and horses. With every benchmarks attained I enjoy a momentary sense of accomplishment before realizing there’s another benchmark ahead. There’s always more.
New Stewardship Rules
Nothing changes until you change something. Here are two changes I’ve implemented this week:
- I will only read one book at a time.
- Basics fundamentals of biomechanical excellence with the horses will be the norm, not the exception. Of course, changing their habits is as difficult as changing mine. It’s a journey of joy.
The backlog of 26 partially-read books will take some time to resolve, but at least I’ve taken the first step in the right direction.
Have you recognized new stewardship challenges? Maybe we can help each other stay on track.
Related post: Faithful Stewardship