My first child came into this world after a 48 hour marathon of labor. Lot’s of screaming. Lot’s of cussing. Lot’s of crying. And that was just me.
I had somewhat fallen for the lie that this was going to be the most beautiful and miraculous thing I had ever experienced.
Call me calloused, but the most beautiful thing about that weekend was when the doctor prescribed me a bottle of Xanax.
Little did I know that the miracle of birth is made somewhat prettier by the Gaussian blur placed on the cover of all those birthing books at Borders.
When baby number two came at us, I was ready.
I had studied, critiqued, memorized, planned, and strategized a battle plan based on baby number one.
There was nothing that this birth could throw at me that I would not be ready for.
I had it all laid out.
I was a strategic mastermind.
I was ready.
So when Heather let me know that the contractions had begun I sprang into action.
We were in San Diego at the time and got in the car to drive back to Riverside.
A 75 minute drive.
I called both sets of grandparents and let them know that in the next 24 hours or so they should begin to make their way down to southern California to witness the miracle of baby number 2.
By the time we got back to Riverside my wife could barely sit down.
She demanded we go straight to the hospital and I reminded her that according to my studies, the first child arrived in 48 hours and we were only 90 minutes into this journey.
She, in no less than 3 words, convinced me otherwise.
My plan was being thwarted.
My plan was being disrupted.
By the time I wheeled her into Labor and Delivery we were told that she was about 5 minutes away from having this baby.
It had been 2 hours!!!
This was NOT happening.
Heather demanded I run back to the car to get the camera.
The doctor recommended I not, seeing that the baby would be there any second.
Heather gave me the look of “I don’t care what the doctor says, get the camera now.”…and I was gone.
Sprinting to the car, fumbling for my phone, dialing 2 wrong numbers, looking for the keys, digging for the camera, getting yelled at by her mother, running back to the labor and delivery ward, I was a wreck.
I made it back for 3 pushes and a baby.
A little under 3 hours and baby number 2 was here.
Where did my plan go wrong?
How did my strategy fail?
After mulling through these questions for about 10 seconds my second child was placed into my arms. All of my strategy, planning, critiquing went out the window.
All I knew was that I was in love with what God had blessed me with.
And I promised Him to do everything within who I was to make her feel like the queen of this world.
You may or may not find a similarity in your life story with the birth of my children.
But if you have ever launched any idea, concept, or ministry, you have more in common with me than you probably care to.
You see if you are anything like me, you love to try new things. You love to birth projects that can change the world.
Once in a great while you have a project that clicks. It works. It changes culture. It defies your own comprehension.
You end up building a system around that success. That is not a bad thing. It is actually a smart thing.
For many of us that project could be a church plant, a website, a film project. It can take the shape of many great things.
The danger lies in building the rest of our strategy off that one success.
What is worse is trying to build a successful strategy off of the success of another.
Buying that church growth book and trying to duplicate what Ministry X did in your own ministry.
That would be akin to my buying those Gaussian blur birthing books at Borders and expecting my wife’s labor to be the same.
Yet the more I think about it, the more I see us all doing just that.
We try and duplicate success and not let success define itself.
There are going to be great truths that are available by looking into the past.
But we must remember that there is a unique story in everything that is birthed from God. This includes that tiny idea sitting in the back of your head right now.
Let it develop in it’s own way so that it can succeed in ways you never imagined.