Sports analogies are largely lost on me. But I’m using this one. Wayne Gretzky’s dad was the one who told him, “skate where the puck’s going, not where it’s been.” This is useful advice for hockey and life in general.
I first learned this phrase in Business School when we all turned into crazed marketers during a product-launch simulation we only did for a few weeks, but we were all bent on winning. Our marketing teacher, Prof. H, somehow got us on board with this “game” and then we all took it VERY seriously. In marketing terms, you have to focus on choosing product attributes relevant to what customers will care about in the future so by the time you develop your great idea and launch it you’re poised to intercept all of the market demand you clairvoyantly assessed since you’re so smart.
I’ve had more recent opportunity to apply this concept at VT. They have a shiny touch-screen that supplements the VRB (Very Robust Commodore), and one of the games is to stand in front of it and touch the dots on the rotator pictured on screen. L puts a stool in front of the screen so I can touch it for stability as I reach out with my other hand, so I don’t have to do this activity seated anymore. The thing is that the screen is very sensitive, and there’s a slight gap between the surface you touch and the surface that registers it, so there’s a tiny delay that means if you press the dot and hit the nail on the head – sorry, but you’re often too late. That thing beeps at me shrilly, and I tell it, Shhh! You’re giving me away! But I’m not the only one, so I’ve heard several of us being advised to aim for the area slightly ahead of the dot, not the dot itself. This strategy works when I can actually get my fingers to do what I want them to.
As a result, I’ve had the phrase, you gotta skate where the puck’s going, running through my head for months. I can’t help but think it applies to my life right now, but the problem is that I have no idea where the puck is headed. I was sure it was going to land in Africa. I was wrong. Really, really wrong.
But that’s okay – I was wrong, but this isn’t a product launch, this is my life. A failed product launch might bankrupt you but thankfully a devastating medical event didn’t quash me. (Happy Aside: I am currently unemployed, but Mommy says I won’t be destitute on her and Tanpo’s watch :)). True, I lost almost everything, but the “almosts” I’m referring to are huge, viz., my family and my faith. (I got the chance to verify that the reason I wanted to go to Africa in the first place is sound, although I’m not actually going.) I don’t know what the final destination is, and although I’d love to know, I don’t really need to know. The idea right now is to just skate in the general direction of the puck. Oh, why be picky – I’m just trying to skate, period. Or maybe just walk without an assistive device. But although I have some mobility issues in getting to the goal, I assure you that I’m in this thing to win it.
PS. When I thought the puck was headed to Africa I would have LOVED to get some practical training before asking my church to send me and so they’d feel better about letting me loose in another country. This program “In Tents,” directed by Ruth’s mom, would have been just right. I’m a great advocate for preparation, and the kind of things In Tents teaches you about would be suitable for many destinations, both overseas and stateside. But I can’t go anymore. Maybe you can! It’s in MI June 8-22. Watch this video to learn more.
“In Tents is a hands on, in depth training for passionately serving God from the home, while learning to be women who can strike a victory for God like Sarah and Jael. This event for young women 18 yrs old and above will be held Jun 8-22 in the home of John and Ann Bjorlie (Grand Rapids, MI). Younger teens are welcome with an older sister attending. Lessons include: “How to teach children” with Bernadette Veenstra, “How to be a mother’s helper” with Becky and Abi Wagner, “Make meals for a crowd and host an evangelistic event” with Kathy Holiday and Ann Bjorlie, “Gain vision for using your spiritual gift and talents to serve God” with Jane Wolcott and Mary Bredeweg, and “How to study your Bible” with Kathy Morell. Contact: Ann Bjorlie ph: 616-821-0303 email or visit the Facebook event,”In Tents 2013.” from assemblycare.org