Lately I’ve been thinking quite a bit about how to make facilitate changes in my life. While some of the answers of what to do are quite simple, I like to understand as best I can what’s going on. Perhaps that’s my flaw, perhaps it’s a strength.
In a word, I’ve been meditating on infrastructure. What is it and how do I harness the power of personal (or personalized infrastructure). But before we go any further, what is infrastructure?
the basic, underlying framework or features of a system or organization.
“infrastructure.” Dictionary.com Unabridged (v 1.1). Random House, Inc. 24 Jul. 2008.
It’s so simple. Infrastructure is what supports or makes up a system or organization. A trellis is the infrastructure that helps a vine to grow up the side of a house. The earth is the infrastructure that supports human and animal life. The Sabbath is the infrastructure that allows us to enter into the rhythm of creation – to both work and rest. To do and to acknowledge that we are dependent on God.
Infrastructure can facilitate as well as restrict – facilitating desired end results while also restricting undesirable end results. And, well-designed infrastructure can serve to inspire us to great things at the same time.
Think again about the Sabbath. Setting aside a day with God will reconnect us with God and his purposes (inspire), create space for rest and refocus (facilitate), and keep us from trying to work our way to “godhood” ourselves (restrict). Doesn’t God create the most beautiful, elegant infrastructure?
The purpose of infrastructure is to accomplish (through inspiration, practical facilitation, and restriction) the goals of the one who created it. The purpose of the Sabbath is to facilitate what God wants. The purpose of a corporate budget is to facilitate the goals of the stakeholders. The purpose your personal infrastructure is to facilitate the life you want to have.
In the world, our infrastructure may consist of bank accounts, cell phones, cars, computers, and widgets. But what does infrastructure look life in our spiritual lives? I see three key components to a spiritual infrastructure.
- Habits (things that happen automatically)
- Relationships (people who help you stay on track)
- Responsibilities (activites that require focus)
Keep in mind, though, that infrastructure is here to serve the goals of the one who created it. If infrastructure begins to inhibit the goals for which it was created, perhaps it is time to change the structure.
Further, some infrastructures are more important than others. If my employer decides they will no longer direct deposit into the particular bank I use, my infrastructure must change at some level. If I decide to spend two hours a day in prayer but God decides I would be better utilized serving the poor, his agenda trumps mine.
Finally, remember that infrastructure must be maintained. It must be reviewed regularly to ensure that it is fitting the goals for which it was created. It must be updated to remain relevant.
What does my spiritual infrastructure look like?
- Devotional time (habits)
- Small group (relationships and accountability)
- Church duties (responsibilities)
What does your personal spiritual infrastructure look like?