I’m not a fan of having to making decisions especially when risk is involved. More often than not when asked what I want to do I will answer, “Whatever you want.” Give me choices – I panic and pray the other person will decide. It’s an interesting reaction because I usually know what I want to do but I don’t want to pick something the other person doesn’t like to do. (Side note for my friends: when giving me choices please only provide options you would be happy doing so the pressure is off me – thanks!).
Good news! In my recent experiment the decision-making process was eliminated – well almost. I suppose one could reason I had to decide to listen to God’s voice but if I heard Him I did it (minimal options at least). This led to having one of the best days ever. Just a refresher, this experiment started when I asked myself, “What if I spent a whole day listening to everything the Holy Spirit told me?” No questions. Just acting.
I shared in the introduction to this experiment the first three hours of my day I did 11 things outside my normal routine. The rest of the day continued much like the morning. It was really fun waiting to see what the Lord would challenge me with next. Through each experience I learned something about listening to God’s voice. I’ll share a few highlights from my day and how God used each experience to help me write a better story.
Send someone an encouraging text that is trying to form better (maybe just new) morning habits. I was sitting on the exercise bike and this person came to mind. I know she is trying to create better morning habits so I sent her a text to encourage her. I could have said, “No. It’s too early to text someone,” but I knew if I let the moment pass I wouldn’t do it and it might lose its impact. Lesson: When God calls you to act – do it; even if it’s just a text to a friend.
Follow through on a commitment. This is tough for me. I always have really great intentions when agreeing to do something but usually by the time a commitment comes around I’m in a completely different mind-set. On most occasions I’ll back out (I’m a little embarrassed to tell you that but it’s true – I’m working on it). So I kept this commitment and I’m glad I did because we had a great time hanging out. Lesson: Life is always done better in community. Be someone people can count on.
Hold the elevator for someone at work (they didn’t ask me to do this). In all honesty, I didn’t really feel like God was telling me to hold the elevator for this person (really I wanted the door to shut as quickly as possible – this person isn’t on my favorite list). Anyway, I held the door for him. He thanked me. He was very pleasant. I was shocked. Lesson: Even when you don’t feel it (or hear it) and you know it’s the right thing to do – do it. I don’t need to hear God’s voice to know I should be kind to my co-workers.
I picked up the trash in the hallway of my apartment building instead of leaving it for the cleaning crew. The trash experience was inconvenient. I was trying to leave for work, carrying three bags and a water bottle. So you can imagine what I looked like trying to open the trash shoot – ridiculous. I ended up throwing the trash in my purse because I couldn’t open the trash shoot with all that stuff in my hands (hindsight says, put the stuff down but that was too easy). Lesson: Not everything God leads you to do will leave you with a fluffy feeling. Feelings fade so we can’t always trust them but I can trust God’s voice and where He leads me.
I won’t waste your time with all the other things from my day but you get the idea. I’m trying to continue this experiment of listening and doing. I can’t get it right every time. The other day I knew I should have done something but I just didn’t want to. That happens but my goal is to have fewer moments like that and more of listening and doing moments.
One valuable take-a-way from this experiment came at the end of the day. I hadn’t done anything really big but just small things all-day long. And then I realized – living on mission doesn’t always translate to huge acts (read: they don’t get you noticed) but just simple obedience hour after hour, day after day and year after year. These small acts add up and help us fulfill our calling.
A Million Miles In A Thousand Years by Donald Miller
Love Does by Bob Goff