I wrote yesterday about how much I enjoy painting and the satisfaction that it brings me. The problem with painting (if you want to do it well) is that there has to be some preparation before you can begin. The tedious task of taping off door & window frames, baseboards, light switches, and outlets is not enjoyable. It seems to take much longer than you think it should, but it is necessary. Without doing the prep work you end up making a bigger mess of things. A lack of tape means that the paint will spill into unintended places and the final product will look sloppy.
What prep work should be done in other areas of our life before we jump into the main task? What do we normally do that would benefit from a little advance thinking? I believe we would be much more effective overall if we would consider what we're trying to accomplish and then work on some simple preparatory steps to make us more successful.
That will look different for each part of our life: marriage, parenting, financial endeavors, home projects, leading in industry, and our faith journey. There is one common theme that will be more beneficial than almost anything else we do however. As a Christ follower, I know that prayer should be a major focus of all that I do, but will admit that I sometimes fail to do this. This is the preparation that changes my focus from selfish ambition to Christ-fueled impact. It might seem tedious and unproductive at first, but it will make the end result more satisfying and complete when we commit to it.