For months, I’ve been preaching what the uninformed and biblically illiterate could easily be misread as a false gospel – referring to David Allen’s “Getting Things Done” and “Making it All Work” in some of my discipleship, speaking engagements, and coaching. What you need to know is that while I see David Allen as a pretty committed New-Age pagan, what I’ve learned, read, and experienced in the Bible clearly shows that he’s accidentally stumbled on to a veritable gold mine of very God-ordained truth.
If you’re not highly familiar with his methodology, you may see it as a bunch of tricks and techniques that are helpful at best and complicated at worst. For your edification, let me summarize – Getting Things Done (GTD) is just a method of becoming more intentional about capturing all of the commitments and responsibilities in your life, conquering the “up front thinking” (What is it? What is the next actionable step to take with this? Where do I park it until its time comes? and How fast can I dispose of it if it’s trash?), and gaining both perspective (vision) and control (stewardship/influence/action) over these commitments.
Very simple, but not easy. But, you don’t need to understand that thoroughly to understand the next point.
As a believer in Christ, you and I have biblical commands and convictions that should make his entire methodology a walk in the park. If we’re ever “stuck” in using Allen’s methodology, we’re either uncertain of what “done” looks like or when to do the “doing”, David would have you or I use what he calls “Six Horizons of Focus”, basically pulling back the lens of our life to the 50,000 foot level to regain perspective. Once we’ve got a 50,000 foot view, it’s much easier to drop down several levels to the practical “what’s next?” level [GTD “runway”] with a more informed decision of what to do.
In other words, confused on what to do next? Go to the mountain and look down.
For those who are not “in Christ”, you are relegated to looking down only from the top of the mountain. But, there’s the trouble. No matter how tall the mountain you use as your lookout, God always has a higher view.
For those who have the indwelling power of the Holy Spirit and the “mind of Christ”, you have a powerful vantage point that puts you head, shoulders, and planets above the rest – you have God’s vision.
My prayer today is not that you would pick up GTD or Making it All Work, not even that you would pick up your Bible right away… (Heretical?! No.) Rather, that you would pay attention to what has your attention. Count your sheep (see here and here), then bring your accounting to the Lord, ask Him “what’s next, from Your view point?”, and compare the answer you hear to what you read in your Bible. You have access not just to a mountain top view of your world, but of the mountain maker, mountain shaker, and mountain mover.
May He take the scales from your eyes and give you clear vision before you take another step.