When I hear the word “drought,” the majority of the time I think of Third World countries. No rain, no water, walking miles to get water or having it trucked in.
Until now, living here in Northern California, I haven’t really experienced a drought that causes extensive damage to crops or prevents their growth. We just went 52 days without any measureable rain — the longest period in our history. The governor declared a drought emergency, and we’ve been progressing down a path of different stages of water reduction. Ouch.
Have you ever experienced a drought (outside of water)? I know writers, musicians, artists and salesmen go through periods of drought — a lack of ideas or something expected.
So, how do you make it rain? Don’t be silly; you can’t make it rain. What you can do is prepare for the drought. We know that there will be periods in our own lives of no ideas, lack of customers, and lack of vision.
So, let’s start with some prayer. I don’t think prayer has ever hurt anyone. You need to get outside your own four walls for a while. I know it sounds cliché, but take that walk in the park or along the beach. Go to the gym. Listen to someone else’s music list. Go check out the competition, or ask your wingman for help. (If you don’t have a wingman, get one.)
The key here is to do something different. It might not happen overnight, but it will happen. I’ve found over the years that when these periods of drought hit, I write down my thoughts. Wait a minute — Didn’t you just say you were in a drought? I didn’t say these were great ideas, just thoughts. It could be thoughts of frustration, talks I’ve had with God, or just plain stupid stuff. Sometimes the stupid stuff is the best.
You can still fall back on setting a few bottles of water aside: Pull out your journal of ideas that didn’t click the first time; review your list of leads that you thought were dead; or follow up with previous customers. Sit in your favorite chair, put the headphones on, and get lost for a little while.
If you’ve experienced that drought — or you’re in one right now — don’t panic. The smell of rain is in the air.
Mike Klockenbrink is chief of staff at Lakeside Church in Folsom, CA. Mike worked for W.W. Grainger Industrial Supply for 16 years in many different capacities. In January 2000, Mike quit climbing the corporate ladder and started climbing the Kingdom ladder. Klockenbrink can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.