The Path Ahead

You know that feeling when everything is going right? You’re operating at your highest potential. In your element. Your mind fires on all cylinders. The words come easy. At that moment, you can take on anything.

You make plans. Think of the possibilities. Begin to do some healthy “vision casting.” Way out ahead of the present and into the unknown possibilities.

During your mental journey, you identify a potential obstacle down this path. You think, “I’ve got an answer for that. What’s next?” You keep moving. Then another possible blockade. This time, it’s a big one.

If you want to solve this hypothetical problem before it rears its ugly head in the future, you have to get out ahead of it. Make the changes now. Eliminate the problem before it even develops.

You think, “I got this,” and take control.

It feels good. You’re proactive, not reactive. Nothing can stop you. You keep on going, blazing a trail, deep into the unknown.

I (CJ) began down this path last weekend. A little vision casting exercise of my own.

The Jacksons were on fire. We had just overcome a snare. We were back on course. Focused on our adventure. So I decided to ride the wave and keep the good times rolling.

I seized the opportunity to get ahead of the curve. I took charge. No longer a by-standard. A man at the helm of his own life; leading his family. Empowered. Confident in his own abilities.

Then, a wall. A great wall. A blockade that required drastic change; a significant decision. To solve this one, I’ll have to adjust my principles.

But first, let me tell my partner. Let her know, “this is how I am going lead our family.”

“Oh, it’s okay. She’ll understand. It’s for our goals!”

Let me stop here.

All of this occurred in a matter of about 20 minutes. The feeling of peace and excitement, quickly stolen and driven down into emptiness and despair. A rollercoaster of emotions, draining our energy for the rest of the day.

Thankfully, the Lord has blessed me with a partner that puts my eagerness in check.

Previously, we introduced the OODA Loop. Observe. Orient. Decide. Act. Repeat. Go back and read our blog titled, “Is Everything Okay?” if you’d like to catch up.

Cliff Notes: The OODA Loop is a simple way of staying forward focused during decision making. It’s a great tool.

However, let’s emphasize a step.

The first “O”; Observe.

When you observe something, you take the time to gather information. Watching. Researching. It requires a bit of patience. Stillness, as the obstacle’s details reveal themselves. You have to be watchful until you have enough information to make a GOOD decision.

One that reflects your capacity for risk vs. reward.

Observation seems passive to some. Boring. Time wasted when you could be doing something. You could be working ahead. But I’d like to challenge that.

Waiting is passive. Observing is active.

Observation requires a person to be engaged. Taking in all the details, at that exact moment.

When you observe, patience is critical. If you jump out of Observe and into Orient, the second “O” in OODA, you may exceed your capacity for risk. You might even miss something you needed. A critical piece of information.

For me. I missed something. Probably the most important something.


In the temptation to “ride the wave,” I took control. I didn’t want to wait. I wanted to act. I wanted to lead. I wanted to be active. I…I…I…

I was “waiting” on God to catch up to me. And the minute I stepped ahead of Him, I fell into despair. At odds with my partner.

Lesson learned. Again.

Vision casting is a great tool. I highly recommend it as a practice for establishing the lay of the land that is to come further down the path you are on. However, the wisdom to apply it correctly takes some practice.

Vision casting is not observing. It does not take place in the present. I do not have the capacity for looking into the future with precision. It is all conjecture. I cannot gather information at some point in time ahead of the present and make sound decisions that reflect our principles and risk capacity.

Let God have control of the things to come. He’s already mapped out the path. I need to take one step at a time. Maybe that blockade ahead is purposeful. A challenge I need to build my character. Maybe He needs to show me something. Maybe He wants me to see it coming and learn that He can solve it for me. Maybe He needs to teach me this exact lesson!

Mind. Blown.

So, back to observing (not waiting). Not trying to impose my own will. We don’t have all the information we need. We’re gathering what God reveals to us. In His time. At this moment.

And to be honest, it feels good. No stress about things we cannot control. Our energy preserved for the situations that we face right now.

Like packing up our things, moving out of our house and minimizing our footprint.

And preparing to move into my mother’s (CJ) basement. For real.




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