While the details will be unique to each of us, defensible space is something we all need in our lives. Today’s modern lifestyle can be filled with clutter and stress. We are frequently bombarded with noise, distraction, and issues far beyond our control. It can be very easy to grow weary, to lose sight of our priorities, to allow our lives to become one long procession of checklists and obligations. To wait watchfully and tensely while we try to gauge which direction the wind will shift next. At that point, the stage is set for a catastrophic fire in the future. Defensible space saves us and clears away the unnecessary old so we can build something new, and trust it will last for the long haul. It is created by defining the zone, clearing out the overgrowth, and thinning the trees, which allows the sunlight and the rain to reach the ground again. It is maintained by making sure we release the seeds that the scorching heat of life has freed from their shell. How do we do this? Let’s look at each step in turn.
The first step is to define the zone. We can’t possibly protect something if we don’t know what it is. This means the first step to creating defensible space is figuring out what the zone of safety needs to be. Of course, there are no guarantees nothing bad will happen despite your best efforts, but what we are trying to accomplish is minimizing risk. If you had a house in the woods, you’d use the proper calculations to determine how many feet away from your house the trees and brush need to be without posing undue danger. It’s equally important to make the necessary calculations with your destiny. First of all, determine what kind of zone you need around your career, personal well-being, and family so you can keep those aspects of your life healthy. Only you can decide what’s needed. Second, think about the primary investments you’ll need to make in your destiny: 1) time, 2) money, 3) logistics, and 4) energy. Those are the four things that most adults today find are in short supply. Think about how you can be creative and disciplined in defining what zone is truly necessary to make your destiny your reality. There’s the ideal, the bare minimum, and lots of options in between. You’re the expert on your own life and your own destiny, and how to align the two so all your priorities stay reasonably in balance.
Until next time, I’ll be praying for you to make wise calculations about your own life, and the defensible space you need to move forward.