“Insight is seeing what’s there, but others are too rushed to see.”
This leadership axiom is a combination and summary of several pithy expressions spoken by various leaders ranging from George Washington to John Maxwell.
It’s an expression I’ll respond with if anyone ever tells me I demonstrate some kind of insight. The implication in the comments is that I’m seeing something amazing or unique, but I don’t agree.
It’s there, but often others are too busy running from this to that to see it. But this “amazing” or “unique” insight is readily available. Therefore, I often feel “Insight is seeing what’s there, but others are too rushed to see.”
It’s not an original thought to me, but—as I wrote above—summarizes what others have already said (or written). One such person who wrote this already is the Apostle Paul. Tucked at the end of the paragraph spanning 2 Timothy 2:1-7, we find 2 Timothy 2:7.
Reflect on what I am saying, for the Lord will give you insight into all this.2 Timothy 2:7
New International Version
In Christian circles, it’s very easy for us to fall prey to hyper-spiritualization. This leads us to “God talking”.
For example, I’ve heard Christians say, “Just read the Bible and the Holy Spirit will teach you what it means.” And while there’s certainly A LOT of truth to it, it dismisses our responsibility in the process, to say nothing of dismissing the role of Christians in teaching roles in the Church (see Ephesians 4:11-13).
The Apostle Paul could’ve told Timothy, “I know you don’t understand this, but the Holy Spirit will show you” and leave it at that. But he didn’t say that, did he?
He told Timothy, “reflect on what I am saying”. Timothy was to think on it carefully and work towards applying this understanding in his mind.
The reason the Apostle could say this is the reality that the Lord would, in fact, give Timothy the understanding he needed. But that understanding was not a passive arrangement, as if Timothy had nothing to do in the equation but sit back and let the Lord pour it in.
Instead, Timothy was going to have to dig for it. But as he dug, he would find the gold the Lord had waiting for him.
Here’s the thing: the Lord who determines the end also determines the way. Understanding is the “end”; paying attention, meditating, considering, applying—these are the “way”.
I do believe “Insight is seeing what’s there, but others are too rushed to see.” We want it to fall into our laps and many times that’s just not how the Lord provides understanding and clarity.
We must ponder the things of God and in a situation we must allow Him to show us what others might miss by simply looking too fast.
Slow down. Take a deep breath. Read it again. Consider it again. Think through it.
And see what others are too rushed to see.