It’s time to ask the children to leave the room

When you are hunting elephants, don’t get distracted chasing rabbits. ~T. Boone Pickens.

It’s time to have the conversation with the adults in the room.

Congress needs it, your church needs it, your home needs it, you need it!

This is not about intelligence, eloquence or genius. It is about common sense, practicality and…your sanity.

We live in a world that is fraught with ridiculousness, rabbit-chasing and endless non-sensical conversation and dialogue. The craziness of it all is that people use that discourse and communication as an effort to deflect, diffuse and confuse. At times, they may sincerely feel they are helping a situation but it extends the grief and deepens the problem.

What are we talking about? Few people talk about real issues these days. While people are hurting and starving, they would rather focus on irrelevant matters. When you want to try to get out of the hole you’re in, they want to tell you why you’re there and why you’re wrong and condemn you.

Simply put, people would rather lead you around the mountain again or down another rabbit hole than try to speak truth in love and help you get back up.

It’s one reason people don’t like to go to church these days. At least not to a church that will give them the truth of how to live in tough times. Their lives aren’t any better when they leave than when they stepped inside.

We live in a day of enablers, a day when people are content to have their ears tickled and to be told it’s okay when it’s not.

The fact is, it’s okay to not be okay, especially if you face the facts and are willing to get back up again.

Too many people enjoy talking about non-essential, inconsequential drivel that attracts and sucks in well-meaning people.

If the problem is with the engine of the car, we don’t need to talk about the tires. If there’s a morale problem at your work place, we can talk all day about increasing production, but it’s not going to matter.

Likewise, if you’re facing a challenge or obstacle in your life, you probably aren’t going to be interested in much that doesn’t directly address your situation. For example, if you’re depressed, there isn’t much use discussing increased productivity, working more hours or taking on more.

You need people in your life who will answer your questions, address your needs and tell you the truth. Without condemnation. Without looking down on you. Without lording it over you. Without leading you down the road of judgment. Without finding blame, of anyone.

Without getting into the politics of it, consider the immigration issue. This has been an absurd matter for the last 25 years. Yet, little, if anything has been resolved. The answer seems simple. It appears the dispute could easily be settled.

But no solution, only bandaids, rubber bands and excuses. From all sides! Where are the adults in the room? Who will stand up and say: “Look, both of you are right, cut out the nonsense and let’s get it done!”?

It’s the same in the church, the same at your workplace, the same in your own life. To use the Pickens argument, there are elephants in every room, but we’re too busy chasing the rabbits.

A pastor told me recently that churches stay busy putting out fires and tending to crisis after crisis in their congregation. Nobody can sustain that level of stress and tension.

The church, much less your business, your workplace and certainly not your home, is not designed to be in a state of constant crisis. These places are not designed to function as the 24/7 ER.

That said, it’s time to have real conversations about the elephants. To do that, you may need to ask the children to leave the room, leaving only the people who will address matters and make progress in your church, in your business, in your home and in your life.

For Congress, it may be time to clean house completely and elect 535 new representatives who will act like adults rather than throw dirt, throw tantrums and call each other names, just like the neighborhood children playing in the dirt pile next door.

In your own life, if you’re tired of driving around the same mountain time and time again, figure out who the adults are in your sphere and sit them down. Again, ask the children to leave the room.

Who are the children? The children are…

  • People who tell you that what you’re doing is okay. Even when you know in your heart it isn’t.
  • People who will blame someone else without offering a solution. (NOTE: If someone else is truly causing your troubles, it may be time to separate yourself from the problem.)
  • People who tell you that you’ll never amount to anything, that you can’t get better or that you don’t have what it takes.
  • People who tell you that you have to do this or you must do that. Even licensed counselors won’t do that. Go where the peace is and, if you don’t have peace, don’t do it.
  • People who will try to control your future. They may do it under the guise of helping you, but if they become unhappy when you don’t do as they ask/say, beware!

It’s time to turn your attention to the adults in the room. Not only will you accomplish more, you’ll feel better about yourself, your situation, your workplace, your church and your life.

Find the adults in your life — or invite them in — who will encourage, motivate, support and inspire you to become a better person, a better spouse, a better parent.

Soon, you can become the motivator, supporter, inspiration and encourager for someone else in your life!

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