“Don’t Be Seduced By Low-Hanging Fruit”

10 12 2015

Avoid Low Hanging Fruit

Recently, I was reviewing some future vocational pursuits, and courses of study to prepare for them, with a mentor of mine.   He admonished me twice, “You must not be seduced by low-hanging fruit.”  He went on to encourage me to set vocational and educational goals that were neither too easy nor out-of-this-world in difficulty, but instead targets in which “you have to stand on your tiptoes to reach.”

That was a new twist.

My own human nature and the bent of our times drifts toward, even craves, things that require little or no effort.  Low-maintenance relationships.  Things you can “wing.”  Problem-solving that demands no more than easy, black/white, either/or solutions that don’t have to grapple with the complexities of our times and its issues, which are impatient of petty annoyances like nuance and clarification.  Or, better yet, long-term thinking.  (Current immigration debate and Donald Trump come to mind.)

The challenge for growth is something that requires stretching.  We all know this when we get to the gym.  But we tend to forget this once we’ve showered and leave the environment where sweat is accepted as part of obtaining the prizes.

What goals are you setting for yourself?  Do they cause you discomfort or are they well within your current competencies and are guaranteed to cause you little frustration?  Little effort can only yield small rewards.

These are necessary questions, because low-hanging fruit is cheap and easy.  But, you have to climb to get the good stuff.

Image Credit


One Who’ll Walk Beside You

7 01 2012

David, a former student, and I play Scottish reels

“He will come after me, this young Timothy; looking for someone to guide him.” (Michael Card)

I have been privileged to teach and mentor people for about 25 years now.   Most of this has taken place in music lessons where I am teaching guitar, piano or music theory.  In other cases, I have been able to teach, show and guide in work environments as a pastor, baker, carpenter or IT professional; as well in small group settings over coffee and pastries.  And most important of all in my own home, raising our two beautiful, intelligent daughters.   This could not have been done without their mother, the crown jewel.  Compared to her input, mine was modest.

It is the responsibility of those of us who are older, whose heads have hair that has either turned gray or loose, to pass on the stuff of life to those whom God and destiny have brought into our paths.  Our children top the list but there are plenty more.  The world is crying for leaders and the young look to the older to guide them, to show them how to navigate life and have an impact on the world.

Today, I began a 6 month journey walking along side over half a dozen young men.  All marvelous individuals with the mark of leadership on them.  Together we will look at work, career, faith, money, sex, understanding women and a whole lot more.  We will share the things we’ve learned and are learning and grow together.  One of the hallmarks of our church, New Life Christian Church of Watertown NY, is to raise up and fully equip the next generation.  I’m privileged to have a part.

So I expect we’ll be sharing in this blog over the next year some of the special things we learn.  Our group has wide interests and careers—music, US Army, IT, US Postal Service, agriculture, youth ministry, fire safety, delivery services and more.  Join us on this blog as we learn together.

Our focus next week is “Taking 100% Responsibility For Your Life.”

It’s going to be great.  I guarantee it.