One night last week I literally walked into a wall – the outside corner of a wall. Following a similar pattern as most nights, I walked into our dark bedroom where my wife was already asleep. On this night, however, I misjudged the angle I was walking and hit my forehead over my left eye so hard on this corner, the sound awakened my wife. I cupped my hand in front of my face and immediately felt blood, not dripping, running down my nose and into my hand. A few minutes later after getting the bleeding stopped and covering my new one-inch gash with a bandage, I went to bed. Pam was already fast asleep.
I still do not know all the answers of that incident: How did I misjudge the angle after years of the same routine? How could a slow cautious stride make such a loud noise (to awake the sleeping)? How could that same slow stride cause such a damaging hard hit with a 10 minute bleeding spree?
In life, we hear people use the terminology, “I’ve hit a wall.” I’ll certainly be more selective when using that terminology from now on. Using that terminology normally refers to coming to a seemingly impassable point in a particular venture or task. Example: “My computer quit running. I’ve tried everything I know, and I’ve run into a wall.” Or “It’s been a long tiring day. I’m exhausted! I’ve hit the wall.”
We all come to these “walls” in life and most often it is best to take a break, move onto something else. Set the task completely aside. Come back to the difficult issue later, when we are refreshed. Some of those walls, metaphorically speaking, like the one I ran into, we may never know all the answers. But that does not mean we should give up on tasks or ventures. My task that night was to turn off a fan that was in our window pulling in cool air. A few minutes after the unpleasant incident, while holding a wet washcloth to my bleeding head, I did turn off the fan. In life, we need more of a break and more than a wet washcloth. Sometimes the best you can do is leave that task for another day (or a later time in the day).
A second set of eyes and another brain is oftentimes where the solution comes from. Don’t be afraid to call on someone else, someone not part of the team or issue. Let that person, that set of fresh eyes, bring his/her perspective. On a number of occasions, I have come to one of those walls on a home project. While I’m taking a break, it is my wife who has come up with a possible solution or at least spurred my thinking in a different direction which led to the needed answer. You are not a Lone Ranger in your world. Call on others.
Another great solution finder is prayer. Look to the creator of all and ask for guidance. You may still need to take a break. That may actually be God’s counsel. “Take a break and I will reveal what you need.” This has certainly happened in my life. And when I heed God’s advice, He indeed always provides the means and the way beyond my issue.
When you run up against a wall in ministry or any area of life, take a break, ask for another set of eyes and trust God. He is still in the delivery business – delivering answered prayers.