Somehow all of that faded away a a couple of decades ago. I discovered that my plans were mostly, well, my plans. I thought they were God’s because it was stuff on my heart after I had prayed for wisdom, but I came to discover that they were mostly formulated so I wouldn’t have to worry about what I’d say. But more and more I noticed that God was nudging the conversation elsewhere and sticking to my notes became more difficult and less effective.
I discovered that my “preparation” was about my need to have all my ducks in a row and it kept me from helping people by joining them in their world, sharing where needs and interest lie, rather than where I was comfortable or thought I’d be most entertaining. It was a gradual process of learning to encounter people in “their time” rather than my own. I also learned that God was more concerned with how I was living alongside him and loving who is in front of me today than he was giving me a topic to speak on a week from now. He is the God of the present after all. And while I was praying for future events, I was missing opportunities right in front of me.
So I’m learning to walk with God each day in whatever circumstances I’m in. I don’t show up with my plans anymore, but simply with a prepared heart ready to see what people are hungry for and how I might help. Oh, I might have an inkling of things God will sprinkle into the conversation, but I use them only if they unfold in the moment. It has been so much more helpful to people who are really on a journey of living in the Father’s love to let them shape the conversation and offer myself as a resource for their journey, rather than try to dazzle them with mine.
And it has helped live more full in the present, whether I’m home, on a plane, or in a far off land. That’s why I have come to love this quote by Aldous Huxley because it captures the possibilities that every day affords us:
Every moment of our human life is a moment of crisis; for at every moment we are called upon to make an all-important decision – to choose between the way that leads to death and spiritual darkness, and the way that leads towards light and life; between interests exclusively temporal, and the eternal order; between our personal will, and the will of God.
A Quest for Values
I realize this can be read from the darkness of performance, where a demanding God is looking over our shoulder every moment judging everything you do or say. That is how I used to see him and I didn’t enjoy quotes like this because they just made me paranoid. No matter how many good decisions I made, I know I wouldn’t get them all right and I was far more aware every day of where I fell short, than where I had leaned into love and life.
That’s the problem with performance-living. Every day demanded perfection, which of course wasn’t possible so every day ended in frustration and confession and pledges to try harder. But you now what? No child would learn to play piano, baseball, or ride a bike if they had to be perfect at it on the first day. God intended life to be an adventure, not were we get it all right today, but where we simply make progress in learning to walk alongside him and see the world through his eyes. Then we’ll know how to live and that will spill over in helping others.
I love how he is setting me free on the inside to be more aware of what’s unfolding around me and have a sense about how I might be loving, kind, or helpful to others. It’s not a demand of his; it’s an adventure of mine to learn a bit more each day what an amazing world he created and how I can be in it to bring hope and healing rather than more destruction.
Nope, I’m not perfect, but I am making progress and I honestly think that’s all he desires for me.
10 thoughts on “Why Every Day Is An Adventure”
Great read Wayne!!! I have often found in some of the small groups I have met in, that the message from the messenger was more important than allowing the hearts of our brothers to be expressed.
I am thankful for this freedom for you -and for me as well. I find more and more peace in my life – and with that comes an easier joy – as a result of learning to live in the present, live loved and choose to be open to what Papa is speaking to me from moment to moment. Getting it ‘right’ is no longer part of the pursuit/equation. Getting it ‘right’ still feels good (what Type-A doesn’t like to be right?) When it happens, I rejoice. When it doesn’t – I learn more.
The greatest gift to me in this journey is that I have been given the opportunity to show my children a better way – and they have grasped it!
By the way – anytime you are back in Northwest Montana, we would love to see you/host you again! I can’t promise to be on the same flight out again, but who knows?
That was great how it worked out last time. Great to hear from you, Patty. Hope your family is well. Love what you wrote here.
Thanks Wayne! It is so easy to slide into the “self-preparedness” mode… Gotta be ready… gotta be knowledgeable… gotta be right!
It is too easy that we have a God Who is the truth and light we need in the moment and loves us , so He is willing to share all that He has for us. I really enjoy your insights and your consistency in relying on Father to get us through another day…
Wayne, this really hits the spot. My wife and I are on a camping trip across the us. We have met some very interesting people in the campgrounds. Last night we met a couple. After visiting with them for quite a while, they shared that they were heading to a funeral. A. Little girl had died. Kind of a informal granddaughter. My wife and I just sat there with them and let them talk about their feelings. We didn’t say much at all. There was nothing that we could say. I was just glad to be there for them
Love this! I think you have been moving more from a left – brain dominated, logical-rational mode to a right -brain, relational mode. In other words, you are allowing your heart to rule where once your reason dominated. This is great!
Maybe… I like to think I’m learning to live a bit more by the Spirit than another part of my brain, but I get what you’re saying…
The Spirit is incarnational in that he is using parts of our physical bodies.
Of course, and yet works beyond them as well.
Wayne, I love these insights! They parallel some of the things Father has been showing me very recently. I regret all the years of needless duty and obligation motivated activity, but understand that even those years may have been necessary to arrive at today’s “every day is an adventure” experience. I find myself anticipating every new day to discover something new in my relationship with Jesus and discovering the kingdom he also wants to happen “on earth as it is in heaven.”
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