-Guest post by Sue Querfeld
I needed a way to figure out how to get onto that route and start making the correct turns to make my way home.
A few years ago I had to take my daughter to get some immunizations. We managed to find the doctor easily enough, but coming home was another story.
Somehow I got turned around and was not sure where I was or how to get home. One thing I WAS sure of, though, was that we did NOT want to cross the bridge into Philadelphia, so I got off the highway at the last exit before doing that and ended up in Camden, New Jersey. Camden is NOT a nice place to be lost.
I pulled into the parking lot of a convenience store and wondered what to do. Then I remembered the GPS on my phone. We had been out of the country for several years, so the phone and all its bells and whistles were new to me.
I managed to find the GPS and even type in the address where we wanted to go. It did its thing and a route was mapped out. The voice said, “Proceed northeast on Maple Street.” Umm, sure. First of all, I could not PROCEED anywhere, as I was at a standstill, facing the wall of a building.
Secondly, which way was northeast? I’m a left-right kind of person. Unless I’m on the coast and know which ocean it is, I am NOT going to know which way is north, south, east, or west. And lastly, I could only presume that the street in front of the store was Maple, but there was no sign to indicate that. Sooo….
That GPS had all the information I needed to get home, but I did not know how to get started. I needed a way to figure out how to get onto that route and start making the correct turns to make my way home.
That happens in other areas of our lives as well. We have a goal, and even know a lot of the steps to reach it, but we don’t know how to get started. Coaching is the piece that is missing. A coach can help us access the information that we already have so we can find the route and get started. And sometimes, just like on a GPS, there are several possible routes to take. A coach asks questions that open our minds to new ideas, revealing more possible routes to reach that same goal.
Just as we sometimes run into unexpected obstacles when we are driving—construction, heavy traffic, debris in the road—that cause us to have to make a detour, we often encounter unexpected circumstances in our daily lives that make us have to adjust on the fly, changing our plans to accommodate a new situation. Through an ongoing relationship, a coach can help us find the best way to navigate those unexpected detours and still reach our goal.
GPS is only a tool; the driver is ultimately responsible for choosing the route and for getting the vehicle safely to its destination. The same is true with coaching. A coach asks questions, points out things that perhaps we have not thought of, and helps us to think in new and broader ways, but in the end we make the decisions about what steps to take to move toward out goal.
It could be, though, that those questions and the new insights that arise from them are just the thing we need to get us started on the route toward achieving our goals.
–Sue has served over 20 years in church planting, discipleship, and coaching in Peru. She coaches in both English and in Spanish; certified ACC.