I didn't intend to go hiking. I met someone at Panera for breakfast, and then thought I would go to the Taylorsville Dam. I knew there were some picnic tables in the reserve, and the Great Miami River provides a great back drop to spend time with God.
When I arrived, I spotted a trail I hadn't seen before, and decided to follow it for a little ways. The sun was peeking in and out from behind a cloud, and there was a nice breeze along the river. I stopped about 1/4 of a mile down the trail on a sand bar. I read a few chapters from Esther, but was more taken with the wildlife that had gone unnoticed a few minutes earlier (my ADD).
Soon I was following the bank of the river until I ran out of space, and the bank became too steep and muddy. Then I found a small deer path and began following that. That worked until the path disappeared. The nettles began scrapping my legs, and I noticed large patches of poison ivy. It was then that I thought, "I should have worn pants!"
How could I have known to wear pants? I hadn't planned on hiking at all. My intention was to sit at the picnic table and enjoy the scenery. Instead, I was trying to find the scenery that is only available when you leave the beaten path.
In leadership, church planting, and life in general, we can plan, but sometimes we get hit with the unexpected. When that happens, we have to be willing to just move ahead. You never know what is going to happen, or what is going to change. I wasn't planning on going hiking. I wasn't prepared. But if I hadn't gone ahead, there would have been a lot of things I would have missed. I had the opportunity to see some wildlife that I could not have seen from the "regular" trail.
I think part of leadership is being prepared, but also being prepared to not be prepared. There are people who try to plan for every possible contingency. I don't know that you can plan for everything. You can plan for many things, and you should plan for most things. But there will always come a time when something happens or an opportunity arises that you were not prepared for. You can either quite and try to return when you are better equipped and prepared. Or, you can press forward, and endure the problems for what exciting things lay ahead.
What kind of person are you? A planner? Spontaneous? Are you willing to share about a time you were caught off guard, but pressed ahead and found something great at the other end?