I just started a new yoga class and I am already completely in love with it! It’s not “power yoga”, “hot yoga”, or even yoga with lots of stretchy poses! Instead, the class focuses mostly on breathing, and learning the power of being present in the moment; of being mindful of where we are at any given time, and to make the best decisions based on that mindfulness, instead of on quick or emotional judgment.
In order to practice mindfulness, we must learn to pay attention. Paying attention means to notice all the details around and within us. And when we can do that, we’re always going to see more than what we initially thought was there!
I’m thoroughly intrigued with mindfulness as it relates to my walk with God because it reminds me that I don’t always slow down enough to see the bigger picture. Usually, I’m too caught up in replaying what’s already happened (or I’m too busy stressing about what is still to come) to live in the current moment. But mindfulness reminds me that God does work in the present. Yes, He knows what happened yesterday, and He is aware of what will occur tomorrow, yet He is also currently working on today – the here and now – for the good of those who love Him (Romans 8:28!).
Over these first few weeks of simpl.if.I, we’ve seen that sometimes things happen that make us want to grab control and try to steer the ship of our life back onto the heading and course WE believe to be best. But the thing is, God’s got a better idea. He knew this very day was going to happen (because remember – He isn’t surprised by the trials we face in this life). And maybe, just maybe, He knew whatever your “thing” is had to break apart and scatter the pieces in a very precise and perfect way in order for it to be put back together exactly as He envisions.
Our job, sweet friends, isn’t to micromanage the situation. Instead, our goal needs to be to stop and take in what’s really going on. And instead of asking “God, why is this happening”, we change our mindset to ask “God, what do you want me to do about this, right here, right now”. Our task should be to watch, look, and listen for Him moving in the current moment, and respond accordingly.
But we can’t do that unless we’re paying attention.
If life steals our attention today, let’s try to be mindful. Take some deep breaths and remain focused on the moment, completely dependent on God to steer the ship. Don’t let your own inner control freak (or even your inner scaredy cat) fool you into missing out on the details God is weaving into your day TODAY.
Be mindful this week of everything happening around you and spend some time PERCEIVING it! Underneath what may look like a wasteland on the surface of whatever ground you are standing on is actually some pretty fertile soil, preparing the way for something great and new to spring up. Fight the temptation to curse the dirt or to move greener pastures! Instead, focus your trust and attention on God!
Pay attention. Live mindfully, aware of God’s plan for you, because He promises it is a good one!
Practical Application (simpl.if.I’ed steps you can take today!):
- Locate/print up our mantra and scripture card for this week: Pay Attention! (please note that our actual verse is Isaiah 43:19, not 43:17 as printed on the card – sorry about that!)
- Read this portion of Isaiah Chapter 43 to see our verse in context!
- Make time every day this week for a little mindfulness practice! Carve out alone time where you can read our verse, and ask God to show you the new things He’s doing in YOUR life. Pay attention! I guarantee there are springs popping up all around you!
- Get ready for a treat! This song is my new FAVE!!! Sit back and take in this beautiful song by Hillsong United: “Touch the Sky”! (Come ON – those lyrics! “I touch the sky when my knees hit the ground”!! Seriously?! I LOVE this!)
If you are reading before amen, by Max Lucado, read Chapter 2: “Father…Daddy” . I love Max’s way of paring things down and making sense of what could seem pretty complicated! If you are up for it, complete the Chapter Two study guide at the back of the book.
Thanks for joining us this summer for simpl.if.I. I pray the series is working in your spirit to let the complicated stuff fall away and help to focus your body, mind, and spirit on Jesus!
Peace, love, and joy!
Up Next Week: simpl.if.I week 4: Believe God!