Is It Too Late to Pivot?
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As Christians, our lives should be marked by pivots. “To pivot” has multiple meanings. According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, pivot means to “turn on, like a TV stand that pivots” from left to right or “to adapt or improve by adjusting or modifying.” Romans 12:1-2 (New Living Translation) tells us we are to give our whole selves as a holy sacrifice to God, and we do this by allowing God to transform us into new people, which starts with how we think. So how do we change or pivot our thinking? We can do this through studying God’s word, spending time in prayer and worship, going to church, and being around other Christians that live a God-filled life. We make minor adjustments that bring us closer to being in the image of Christ.
“But wherever someone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. For the Lord is the Spirit, and wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. So all of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord – who is Spirit – makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image.”2 Corinthians 3:16-18
The other form of pivot is to turn or change direction. Go left or go right. Sometimes in our careers, we may feel it is time to pivot. To make a change, do something new. There are many examples in the Bible of people that pivoted. The noun form of pivot says it is a “marked change.” Can you think of people in the Bible with a marked change in their life? I think immediately to the Apostle Paul. Paul at this time known by his Jewish name, Saul, was a persecutor of the Jews who followed Jesus. Saul was part of the crowd that killed Stephen, a leader in the early church. Stephen became the first martyr for Christ; he was stoned to death outside Jerusalem (Acts 7, NLT). After this, Saul begins a grand assault on the church, placing many in prison (Act 8, NLT). One day Saul had been to the high Priest in Damascus to get a letter giving Saul authority to arrest and capture “followers of the Way” and take them to Jerusalem. While on his journey, a bright light shines from heaven (Acts 9:1-3, NLT).
“Then he (Saul) fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?” And he asked, “Who are you, lord?” Then the Lord said, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. It is hard for you to kick against the goads.” So he, trembling and astonished, said, “Lord, what do you want me to do?” Then the Lord said to him, Arise and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.”Acts 9:3-6
I love that Saul, without hesitation, says, “Lord, what do you want me to do.” That statement shows that Saul knew Jesus was the Lord. It was an immediate conversion and surrender to the will of God. Then Saul does what Jesus told him, meets with a disciple named Ananias, and is filled with the Holy Spirit (Acts 9: 7-19). Acts 9:20 states that “Immediately” Saul began to preach in the synagogues that Jesus was the Son of God. WOW! Now that is a pivot. Saul went from killing Christ’s followers to not only becoming one but immediately preaching the gospel. His whole life changed.
Sometimes our pivot may be slight, an adjustment, like putting greater focus on a skill or an area of our work, or it can be a significant pivot of changing what we do entirely. I have had many adjustments in my career, going from being the project manager of a particular project to managing an entire program. I’ve had significant pivots where I left corporate after serving there for over 30 years to become an entrepreneur doing something completely different. I have recently added two additional branches to my business, each very new to me and very different from the other.
Throughout our entire lives, we should be ready and willing to pivot. Life can be full of pleasant surprises, and I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to miss out on any of them.
What should we do if we begin feeling it is time for a pivot? I believe we follow Saul’s example; we first ask, “Lord, what do you want me to do?” The answer may not come to us as quickly as it did for Saul. Therefore, we must be patient and wait to hear from God. I spent two years conversing with God before I decided to retire early and leave my corporate role. It was a big decision for many reasons, so I needed to be sure I was doing the right thing at the right time. The final deciding factor came when my husband said, “I believe it is time for you to retire.” I knew we needed to agree, so I gave him time to ensure he was also good with this move. When the decision was made, I told my boss. I was at perfect peace. I had spent the time to be sure that I would have no regrets later. I knew God was leading me, and I followed.
Big pivots can be scary. Another story of significant pivot in the Bible is the story of Joshua leading the children of Israel into the promised land. Moses had recently died, and Joshua was now the leader. He and Moses had worked side-by-side for over 40 years. I am sure Joshua had thought many times about the battles ahead. The Israelites didn’t just waltz in, and all the current inhabitants moved out of their way. They had to fight for their promise. In Joshua 1, God encourages Joshua 4 times, telling him to be strong and courageous. God may have been training you for years for the role you are to walk into; there may be battles ahead. Take the words God spoke to Joshua and apply them to you, “This is my command – be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord, your God is with you wherever you go.” Has God given you a promise you need to fight for? Is it time for you to pivot?
God has created each of us for a purposeful life. Staying in tune with His ways and timing are crucial in knowing when to walk straight and when to pivot. Proverbs 15:22 says, “Plans go wrong for lack of advice; many advisors bring success.” Surround yourself with God’s word, prayer, worship, and Christian women like the women of 4word. God will guide you, and your plans will succeed.
Diana is founder and Chief Executive Officer of Integrated Purpose Management (IPM) LLC, a family owned and operated company. IPM enables you to realize your integrated purpose by providing business management expertise to grow your business, professional coaching to elevate you to your full potential and understanding in communication intelligences to cultivate your professional and personal relationships.
Diana hosts a podcast called The Integrated Life where she encourages her listeners to have a life where they integrate their faith, family and work so they can become whole again. She has a bachelor of science degree in Biology with minor in Chemistry from the University of North Texas and an Executive MBA from Texas A&M, Mays Business School. Diana has over thirty years of experience in the medical device industry with 30 of those years spent at Abbott. She has served in the areas of project/program management, research and development, global quality assurance, regulatory affairs/compliance and executive management.
Diana is a certified Communication IQTM consultant for Life Languages InternationalTM. Diana is a member of the 4word Women Advisory Board and is a servant leader at Elevate Life Church. She is married and has one daughter.
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