There is an old saying, “Too many irons in the fire” which originally described the blacksmith trade. When working with iron and fire, if the iron was “too cold”, the blacksmith would have to pound twice as hard to get half the work done. Yet, if the iron was “too hot”, the metal would either melt or disintegrate, making it worthless to the blacksmith. The problem for the blacksmith was if he had “too many irons in the fire”, he had difficulty keeping up with each piece of iron to know whether or not it was at the optimal temperature.
“Irons” in the life of a Christ-follower can look many different ways:
*Your work or business
*Your family and friends
*On and on…
How do you balance the many demands of your life? If you take on “too much”, you often become ineffective. Too many balls in the air and the juggler sees them all come crashing down. However, if we instead, choose to not get involved in anything, we become sheltered and isolated. So how do you set priorities in your overall life? In each part of your life?
Take for example your finances: you may have several goals: getting out debt, saving more, investing for financial freedom, saving for the kids’ education, on and on… How do you prioritize and create an action plan? With any portion of your life try using these six steps to get from where you are today to where you want to be:
- PROJECT YOUR GOALS: Where do you want to be? If you don’t have an end goal in mind, how will you ever know when you get there? Sit down, write it out and figure out it exactly where you want to be in one year, 3 years, 5 years, 10 years, etc.
- APPRAISE WHERE YOU ARE: What do you have currently? What stage are you at? How close are you to your goals? Without getting a gauge of your current situation, it’s difficult to make progress.
3. PERFORM A GAP ANALYSIS: What shortages/ problems do you face? What is keeping you from reaching your goals? Where do you need help? Often God brings people into our lives at the exact time we need help. Are you willing to admit you need help and find someone who can help? In community, we can truly help one another!
4. CONSIDER OPTIONS: How will you get there? Who can help you? What resources are available to you? Often we lack progress because we feel to fully understand all of our options. Continuing to do the same old things that aren’t working over and over again will not produce different results.
5. IMPLEMENT STRATEGIES: How will you activate your plan? A plan is worthless unless you take action. The best idea in the world is useless until you put it in motion.
6. TRACK PROGRESS: How will you track your goals to see if you are on track? How will you make the necessary adjustments as obstacles come and go? Often people take the first step and plan. Yet, many typically have an inefficient process when trials and tribulations approach. It becomes easy for them to give up easily or when they get off course they can’t find their way back.
Have the courage and persistence to change a little at a time. God is using circumstances in your life today to prepare you for what He has in store. If you can sit down and prioritize each part of your life and then as a whole, you can become so much more effective at everything that comes your way. Take time to get good at a few things rather than everything. Simplify your life. Say “no” to things you can’t do well or are not adding value in your life. Develop good habits and focus on building your character. Most of all find joy in everything you do and do it for God’s glory! We need to be mindful that when we have “too many irons in the fire”, they will all melt and opportunity will slip away!
How many irons do you have in the fire?
How can you become more effective?
What can you give up and say “no” to that will free up more time?