Overthink is when you convince yourself that your nutty idea is better than the choice that 99% of the rest of the world would make.
Like in last night’s Super Bowl.
You need a yard to win the game. You have Marshawn “Beast Mode” Lynch in the backfield. Yet you convince yourself that throwing a pass into traffic is a better choice.
Brilliant. See you next year.
But before we get too carried away with our ridiculing of the Seahawks, let’s admit that overthink happens all the time, even among church leaders.
I’ll never forget the time I was sitting at a banquet table with some preachers I’d never met before. A couple of the guys were sharing the exciting news of their church plant. When I asked what the name of their new church was they said a word–a single word–that had absolutely no spiritual connotation whatsoever. I thought they misunderstood me, so I asked again what the church’s name was. They laughed and repeated the word and then launched into a lengthy explanation of why they chose the word to be the name of their church. I nodded and said, “Oh, okay.” Inside, I was thinking, That’s the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard.
Here’s something to keep in mind. The longer it takes you to explain why your idea is a good one, the worse your idea probably is.
Good ideas tend to be simple and obvious. But we like to impress people with our brilliance or our coolness, so we often disdain the simple and the obvious and shoot for something that will raise eyebrows.
And no, I’m not opposed to innovation. Every great advancement in our civilization has sprung from it. What I’m talking about is commonly called “reinventing the wheel”. If your idea is really an advancement, great. But if you’re simply trying to prove that you’re smarter than everyone who relies on the tried and true, you’re probably heading for an embarrassment.
This morning I’m pretty sure there are some Seahawks and Seahawks fans who wish the coach had gone with a boring old handoff.