Posted by: Kris Lindsey | August 13, 2013

Will a Radical Change Bring Radical Joy?

This is so simple, I can’t believe I didn’t see it before. My heartbeat quickened and my stomach dropped. Simple, but radical! If I dared follow through, this had the potential to change my whole life…

But wait, before I reveal my discovery, let me back up a few steps. In July, two speakers—one at a Christian Women’s Luncheon, and one at a Writers Conference—inspired me with Jesus’ grapevine illustration. “I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit.” (John 15:5, NLT). They pointed out that when we stay connected to Jesus, He will produce the fruit in our lives. This sounded good. Instead of trying so hard, I could let Jesus do the work.

In the next part of this verse, Jesus emphasized his point another way by saying, “For apart from me you can do nothing.” Of course, a branch can do nothing if severed from the plant. To further illustrate, one speaker pulled out a blow-dryer and showed us how ridiculous she looked trying to dry her hair with the cord dangling at her side. We too needed to stay plugged in to our energy source—Jesus—to receive power to do His work. This made sense. I was right there with her.Hair Dryer

Afterward, we were challenged to make a plan to maintain this connection with Jesus in our everyday lives, and then do it for twenty-one days to form a habit. Right-on, sounded great—but how? I’d been trying to remember to talk to Jesus throughout the day for more years than I care to count, and hadn’t succeeded yet. However, I decided to take the challenge. I set aside some time to ask God for help in this, marched out into my back yard with my Bible and the Conference notes in hand, and started to pray.

I thought back on my previous attempts to incorporate God into my life. On a typical day, I would get up and ask myself what am I doing today? I’d check my calendar and make a mental note of tasks and appointments then get myself dressed, read my Bible, and pray. Next I’d say to myself now I’m going to continue my conversation with God as I go about my business. But then I’d get so focused on what I was doing that I’d forget about God until the next morning. Each day I’d say the same thing, with the same results. Insanity, right? But what else could I do?Roller coaster

Then it hit me. What if I only had one thing on my list each day—connecting with God? What if I really put God first and let the rest flow from Him? My body stiffened. I could almost hear the clack, clack, clack of the roller coaster car chugging its way to the top of the track. Did I have the nerve to do away with my whole agenda? What kind of a wild ride would I be in for? The adult in me resisted, but the kid inside said go for it.

“Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you” (Matt. 6:33) resounded in my head. Jesus said I didn’t need to worry about what I would eat or wear–all those things on my list. If I put God first, He would provide.

“Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your strength, with all your soul, and with all your mind” (Luke 10:27). How better to do this than to put my relationship with God as my only important goal in life?

I decided right there and then to put “connecting with God” as the first and foremost item on my list for the next twenty-one days. I would still do my chores and keep my appointments, God willing, as I worked at conversing with God throughout the day. Instead of trying to include God in my tasks, I’d concentrate on connecting with God and then include my tasks on the side.

Who knows, this may be the next turn in the road on my quest for Joy!

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Responses

  1. I thought it was going to say and every time I pick up my dryer I will pray for connection time for me and the Lord during the day. Every time I brush my teeth I pray specifically for Carol Gililland over there in Africa. I try to make something that I do often key me to do something else.

    • Great idea, Harriet. I can use all the help I can get to remember things. I use my blow dryer every day, so now I’ll try to use that visual to remind me to connect with Jesus. And maybe every time I plug anything in–even better! Thanks for the suggestion.

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