Friday, September 2, 2011

Challenge Levels

What is your current challenge level? Are you appropriately challenged? Under challenged? or Dangerously over-challenged?

When I first heard this question I thought the best answer would be to put myself right in the middle. Nicely and appropriately challenged. Enough to do that I finished it every day but not so much that it kept me awake at night. But I also knew the truth about myself. I tend to overwhelm myself by taking on far too much and pushing myself too hard. I tend to take on the worlds problems as if I am the Saviour of the world and then strain myself so badly that I am not much good for anything.

The answer Bill Hybels gave at the Leadership Summit this year was that we should be very slightly over challenged. Enough that we are pushing ourselves beyond our comfort zone. Enough that we are building muscles but not so much that we are damaging them.

Another answer that I think would be helpful is that we need rhythm. We need movement between being challenged, under challenged and over challenged. All 3 are appropriate places at the right time in our lives.

Are there times in my life that I am challenged beyond my current capacities? I think I need those. They help me grow. They help me be dependant on God. They help keep me fired up. But I can't stay in them or I will burn out.

Are there times in my life that I am able to hardly be challenged at all? I think I need those. Times to rest and refresh. To vacate.

Are there times in my life that I am plowing ahead with sustainable challenge? Nicely attacking the days activities and not being too bored or too over worked?

Think through the rhythms of your life. Which of these do you need more of? Less of? Which one should you be in right now? Are you there? How can you recognize the time for change and make sure you make the change at the right time.