The accident happens in a moment: a reach for something on the floor or a glance at the radio or in the mirror. And life changes. That’s how it happens for some people. The smallest of actions that removes our attention for a split second from the task at hand results in a significant event.
Sometimes it looks different though. And that’s what’s been happening in my life. It seems that the accumulation of wasted seconds and minutes has made my life something I don’t really want it to be. My life is good, but it isn’t great – not what it could be. The question is: How do I redeem the seconds and minutes of every day? Even when I work?
The Man. I’m not talking about God. I’m talking about corporate America. The Man can be very numbing – even if you love your job. Heck, ESPECIALLY if you love your job. I feel alive almost every day I go to work. I genuinely like my work. I don’t want to work there forever, but I do like it. I get pumped about projects and side-projects. And before I know it, the day is gone and I haven’t had one thought about the One who gives me the ability to do my job. That has started to really bother me lately. These are my wasted seconds and minutes.
I read verses in the bible that tell us to “pray continually” (1 Thess. 5:17). Jesus says we need to remain in Him to do good things in life (John 15:1-8). There are other verses, too, that point to this reality of us living our moment-by-moment existence WITH God, not just FOR Him. So how does it happen? How do I live life WITH Him? I’m not 100% sure but as I thought about it, I remembered this quote from Divine Conspiracy by Dallas Willard:
“Frank Laubach wrote of how, in his personal experiment of moment-by-moment submission to the will of God, the fine texture of his work and life experience was transformed. In January of 1930 he began to cultivate the habit of turning his mind to Christ for one second out of every minute.
After only four weeks he reported, ’I feel simply carried along each hour, doing my part in a plan which is far beyond myself. This sense of cooperation with God in little things is what so astonishes me, for I never have felt it this way before. I need something, and turn round to find it waiting for me. I must work, to be sure, but there is God working along with me.’
…he…always knew that his brilliant ideas and incredible energy and effectiveness derived from his practice of constant conscious interface with God” (emphasis mine).
So that got me thinking: how could I think of God one second of every minute? My answer was quick in coming and little surprising: write a program. So I wrote this small application that pops up on my computer (I have it at work, too) every 2 minutes (it can be set to any interval, but I set it for 2 minutes). Every day, I put a new bible verse on the little form that will pop up. Today, I picked Galatians 5:1, “For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm, therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.”
So this verse pops up every two minutes and it makes me think of Jesus and then I start talking to Him and asking Him to help me with my work or make my heart better or help one of my friends or some other thing…all while I’m working. My mind is working on two tracks. Not completely, but I can feel my brain adjusting and expanding to make room for this alternate thought path. BUT….it’s simultaneously annoying. Here I am, all pumped about my work and this little form keeps popping up and popping up and popping up. It’s weird. My heart wants to live moment-by-moment with God, but it also just wants to be left alone. I haven’t quite figured out why.
BUT…my MAIN reason for writing is to tell this small story (that was all segue). Tonight, three other guys from our soccer team and I met up at Vanderbilt to play World Cup (a soccer game that’s like 21 in basketball). As we played, I found myself laughing like a little kid. One of them would totally school me and I’d laugh. It was a carefree laugh that little kids laugh – the one that says, “I’m 100% experiencing this moment and it’s awesome!” It’s the kind of laughter that fills your whole body. I felt…drumroll….free. My verse for the day? “For freedom Christ has set us free…” I said that verse more than a couple times today. Perhaps it is coincidental. Perhaps not. All I know is that for 60 minutes tonight, I felt like a kid. And it felt awesome!
Post Script. If you’re interested in the program I wrote, just send me a message with your email and I’ll send it to you. It’s a small Windows app (68k).