I was raised to plan and schedule everything. My sense of adventure may be limited by my childhood of predictability, my ability to deal with change impeded by my scheduled lifestyle, but is this really that bad? If you ask my wife I think she would say that there is an upside and a downside to living life this way. Of course if you ask me I would have to agree with my wife, not because she is my wife but because she is right!Just because I am prepared doesn’t make me boring.
I have to admit, sometimes being a planner and a scheduler can make me a little boring. Staying on task and on time can get in the way of fun and spontaneity. I am getting better at not being so tied to my designs for each day that I am thrown off by the littlest deviation. Sometimes I even wing it! That being said, throwing out all preparation and letting life happen to me is not an option. I may be an obsessive scheduler in need of flexibility but that doesn’t mean the solution lies in embracing the opposite.
In my defence…
In defence of anyone who approaches life with some semblance of preparation and planning, there are good things about us. Our attention to detail means that the majority of time we are on task and on time. It takes an unanticipated event to cause what we are doing and when we are doing it to change. I have to admit I take this approach to living a little further. I don’t only plan and prepare for what I am doing, but I often plan and prepare for every possible thing that could go wrong no matter how remote the possibility is. It works great if this type of pre-activity work stays at work but apply it outside the office and suddenly you are using scuba gear in the desert in case of flash flooding .
I can see the downside.
There is nothing like working out a plan to ensure spontaneity. Announcing that you have signed your significant other up for the flower of the month club so that they will receive a spontaneous reflection of your love in the form of a flower delivered on the 15th of every month means you have not grasped the idea of spontaneity. Sometimes we need to do things on the spur of the moment. Sometimes we need to open up a time in our schedule to be unscheduled.
I can also see the upside.
There are just some things that need to be planned and scheduled. Without putting aside a block of time as well as determining and securing the needed resources, some things will never happen. Being prepared is not a bad thing when it comes to the important things in our lives.
Trust me, there’s a reason for this story.
It was twenty some odd years ago. My eldest son climbed into my wife’s lap as my mother, my wife and I talked. He looked into my wife’s eyes and said with a smile, “Mommy, you’re a sexy babe.” My mother tried to contain her laughter, after all she didn’t want to encourage this type of spontaneous outburst.
What made him say this? We did not have a list of phrases that we taught our children to help them cope with life. Even if we had such a list this would not be on it. So how did my son come up with this and why did he choose to direct it at my wife?
Learn like a child.
Children pick up ideas, sayings and behaviours from those they are around the most. My son was just repeating what I said. Let me clarify something, I never called my wife mommy, he added that part. He had seen me interact with my wife and call her a sexy babe. In his innocence he applied what he observed. Daddy loves mommy and makes her smile when he says this – I love mommy and want her to smile so I need to say it too.
Plan and schedule your childlike learning if you want to be spontaneous.
I am sure you are thinking there is all kinds of things wrong with this sentence. Childlike learning just happens, it is not planned or scheduled and anything that is planned or scheduled lacks spontaneity.
Before we go any further I must assume you are not a child. If you are not a child I must assume you are not practising childlike learning. If you are not practicing childlike learning then I think you need to schedule some.
Put aside non-negotiable blocks of time and put aside the resources needed to be involved in church, prayer, Bible reading and Christian fellowship. You will need transportation so that you can go to church, small group and prayer meeting every week. When it comes to personal time with God you don’t need to go anywhere or get anything. Sites like BibleGateway.com have all the resources you need to study God’s word in the comfort of your own home as long as you have an internet connection.
Every moment surrounded by Godly input is childlike learning that leads to spontaneity.
If you don’t make time for it, you won’t have time for it. If you don’t have time for it, you won’t be influenced by it. If you are not influenced by it, spontaneous references to your faith will not become part of your everyday interactions.
Spontaneous God talk comes from scheduled God time.
Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction. 2 Timothy 4:2