Episode #56 The Art of Flexibility – Intentional Living
From Today's Episode:
Welcome! We're in our Intentional Living Series and today's topic is The Art of Flexibility.
God, in what areas of my life am I resisting change and how can I embrace it more readily with your help?
Here's the episode transcript
Hey friends, it's Jen and welcome to Good God Talks. Today we're talking about the art of flexibility and how to pivot when things don't go according to plan. And I know most of us don't like the idea of needing to pivot, but please don't stop playing the episode right now because this is a message for you today. The reality is, while we don't like the restrictions or requirements that come along with a pivot, we're having to change course and adapt and adjust all throughout our days. And so today we're talking about letting go of that control and how to surrender and trust God when things don't go according to our plan.
One of the things I've learned when it comes to the art of flexibility, is that I don't really like it very much. I would rather things were methodical and streamlined, that there was no chaos going on in my life (calling back to our last episode here.) So, I've also learned to build in space, to build in margin, and sometimes even in anticipation, a structure in what we're doing or how we're living, that allows for that flexibility to happen more easily.
One of the examples I have of this is actually from a fun vacation time. So totally different than most of our day-to-day lives. Many years ago, before we had kids, Jared and I spent a month backpacking through Europe. It was a once in a lifetime trip. It was so incredibly fun, and we did it on a budget. Now, my first run at making these plans, honestly, I had booked everything out. I had put in time blocks, and this day at this time, we'll be at this museum and then we'll go here for this thing and all of these things. Well, my husband is way more spontaneous than I am. And so, when I first started sharing with him about the plans that I was making, he said, Hey, I don't think this is going to feel very much like a vacation for me. I would like to have a little bit more wiggle room in our schedules. And so this is what I learned to do. I built out a framework and then all of the other things had mobility and flexibility to them, and so without boring you too much with my vacation planning, that experience is still one of those markers for me about what it looks like to plan with enough space for agility.
In our day-to-day lives, that often looks a little bit less fun. We're not gallivanting around from one site seeing expedition to a fun meal somewhere else or stopping by to make sure we see the Mona Lisa at the Louvre. But what it does look like, is the opportunity to build in space to pivot, because our plans allow for the pivot. And sometimes those are simply opportunities to surrender.
A woman from our church visited our small group many years ago, and one of the things that she shared about her years in raising young children was that every morning she would ask God to show her the priorities for what she needed to accomplish in that day, and if she got to the end of the day and certain things didn't get accomplished she trusted God that that wasn't what he had for her in the day. Now I've joked for years that God never cares if I do laundry, which is not accurate. But I love the awareness that we can have, that God cares about our days. He cares about the steps we take. He cares about the things that are on our to-do lists. He cares about the things that we care about, and he also invites us into opportunities and spaces to trust him in the things that we don't understand or that we didn't see coming.
I'll read for us from Luke 1: 34, 37, 38 and 45. So we know that Mary became pregnant with Jesus as a virgin, that God supernaturally allowed her, by his Spirit, to become pregnant with Christ. Let's think about that for a second. She never would've seen that coming, even as she was betrothed to Joseph getting ready to get married. It would not have been in her plans to be pregnant yet. It would not have ever even crossed her mind that she could have a supernatural pregnancy. I'm sure that it brought a lot of opportunities to pivot in the days and months and years to come. Reading for us from Luke chapter one. An angel has visited Mary to tell her what's about to happen, and Mary said to the angel, "How will this be since I am a virgin?" He tells her by the Holy Spirit.
Then in verse 37, "For nothing will be impossible with God." And Mary said, "Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word." And the angel departed from her." Then Mary goes and visits Elizabeth who is pregnant with John the Baptist. And Elizabeth says to her, "And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her from the Lord."
I had never considered before how much flexibility and agility this gift to Mary, and to the world, required of Mary. And she yields herself to what God tells her.
I feel like so often in smaller ways, I can ask God, how will this be since I have this limitation? How will this be since this other thing didn't happen the way that I thought it would? How will this be since things seem broken or crazy or chaotic right now? When we think about the requirements to be flexible or to pivot, they present to us opportunities to trust God. And to surrender to him to live intentionally aligned with him as we walk with him through our life together.
God, as I navigate this, let it be to me according to what you say.
And our question for God today comes in two parts.
God, in what areas of my life am I resisting change, and how can I embrace it more readily with your help?
God wants to meet you in the pivoting, in the changing seasons. He wants to walk with you through them.
Have a good talk.
And if you've been encouraged by this content, please share it with a friend and help them grow in their conversational relationship with God too!
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