We have a consistent habit in our small group of veering off-topic with discussions. One of the leaders calls it “going down a rabbit trail”. I’ve seen it happen in business meetings, family gatherings, self-help groups and on and on.
It’s fun, frustrating, enlightening, maddening and–at least within our group–inevitable.
But is it a bad thing?
It can be, of course, if all everyone ends up discussing is everyone else’s topic du jour. After all, that wasn’t the purpose of getting together in the first place.
Or was it? And, who’s purpose are we talking about here?
If you’re talking about the original intent of the gathering, the “Hey, we need to get together and go over this” topic, than . . . probably not. After all, meetings need agendas. Discussion groups need themes. It’s all about maintaining focus and momentum, and those are definitely good things.
But . . .
Maybe on this one day, that particular rabbit trail was exactly the “purpose” for which that person needed to be there. Maybe that particular topic was the “purpose” the Holy Spirit intended when he gathered you together in the first place. (He does prompt you in those areas, you know!)
Sure, rabbit trails can be fun, frustrating, enlightening, maddening and inevitable.
They can also be necessary, therapeutic, cathartic, and energizing.
Maybe not for you.
Maybe that particular rabbit trail wasn’t meant for you. But rest assured, you’ll have yours some day. And people will follow you . . .
It’s what we do.
And I guarantee you’ll come out of that gathering, that meeting, that discussion feeling that you’d just had the best meeting/gathering/discussion in your entire life. Then, a couple hours or a day or so later it’ll hit you that you never really did talk about what you were “supposed” to talk about . . . whatever it was.
But, for some reason, you can’t wait to get back and do it again.