Exploring involves discovering new, unique, vast spaces. However, sometimes all we need to explore are the opportunities in our regular daily routine – a change in our child’s schedule, the chance to serve in a new leadership position, a passion we want to pursue or a one-time act that would encourage someone else.
Exploring requires commitment; it goes beyond wondering. It pushes us to travel through the unfamiliar in order to learn more. What prompts us to start exploring may be a positive experience – an opportunity to do something fun or a deep-seeded passion you can no longer ignore. Sometimes, exploration begins because we are facing a problem. The problems we face will never be resolved by the same methods that got us into trouble in the first place; instead, finding the answer requires us to explore new ideas and solutions.
Regardless of what sets you on the path of exploration, here are a few things to consider:
Explore in your own way.
The questions you ask yourself, the ways you research, your process of exploration may look different than your best friend’s. Sometimes exploring is a personal commitment; sometimes it’s a group effort.
Explore what’s inside.
Identify how you feel, but don’t let feelings dictate your decisions. Spend time exploring what God has to say about you and what’s in front of you. Ask God for wisdom. James 1:5 tells us he is just waiting to give it to us.
Explore from a new angle.
What would happen if we looked at a challenge as an opportunity to be embraced, rather than something to be forced into our schedule? What if we took the things that keeps us up at night and turned them into opportunities to grow? Focus on options and be open to God leading you into change – even when you aren’t sure what the ending might look like.
Explore all the options.
Be willing to consider everything. Exploration involves an open mind, eyes and hands. Even if we say no to one opportunity, we can walk away knowing we took the time to explore it thoroughly.
Recently I was presented with an opportunity. Initially, I didn’t give it much thought. Saying yes would drastically change my schedule and require me to step into uncertainty.
Usually when I want someone to consider a new opportunity, I ask them, “Would you think about this?” However, the person who asked me to consider this new possibility phrased things differently, instead asking, “As you consider this opportunity, answer these two questions: ‘Why wouldn’t I want to invest in this way? Why wouldn’t I do this?’”
I was challenged to explore from a different perspective. Not why I would, but instead why I wouldn’t.
What challenges are you facing?
What new things do you have the opportunity to explore?
- Is it adding something to your to-do list?
- Is it removing something from your schedule that isn’t effective or productive?
- Is it leading your group differently?
- Is it inviting someone new onto your team?
- Is it leading a new group?
Why wouldn’t you do it? Commit to the path of exploration, wonder through the unfamiliar and discover what it means to truly explore.