What Would You Rather Be Doing Right Now?

Contentment with my life, my thighs and God are just a few concerns I’ve been mulling over since hearing blogger/author Susie Davis talk about them.

As a contentment practice, Susie told us, she set a reminder on her iphone to buzz her each day at three. The reminder said,

“What would you rather be doing right now?”

“She has to be kidding,” I thought. “That would be a disaster for me because I can think up 50 things I’d rather be doing at any given time.” Things like..

going here….

or doing this….

or maybe this…

Skeptical, I tried it anyway. I set my reminder to ask every day: What would you rather be doing right now? For the past seven days, the answer has been: “Nothing. I like what I’m doing right now.”

That surprised me and made me wonder if I’m a little more content than I think I am. Here’s a seemingly obvious pearl of wisdom, that was a revelation to me:

Just because you think something, doesn’t necessarily mean it is true.

The longer we meditate on things, the easier they become our reality, ie: the more I wish I were in Paris rather than East Texas, the more miserable I usually become. This little iphone trick has shown me that while I always think I’d rather be in Paris, the evidence doesn’t always support that.

Writing

(Photo credit: jjpacres)

For the last seven days at least, I was perfectly content, sitting at my desk, just doing this.

Try it, and if the result surprises you too, comment about it.

Increase Your Joy In One Easy Step.

*If you’re in a hurry for joy, skip to the challenge at the bottom.

Orange Tree

Photo Credit: Creative Commons amycgx

Yesterday, I prayed with an elderly, black woman in the foyer of busy Goodwill store, out loud.

I’m still shaking my head about it because I am not the woman who prays in public with strangers, because it looks Christiany and weird. But that’s what happens when you let Jesus have his way with you. He messes with who you think you are.

Ever since I posted about Susie Davie giving her Coach purse away, I’ve been thinking about actively bearing fruit. As I walked into Goodwill, I noticed a woman slumping in a plastic chair and leaning on her cane.

“You should talk to her,” popped into my head, but I ignored it because I mind my own business, especially when I have something more important to do – like scour Goodwill for bargains. Plus, I could tell, she’s the kind that would hold me up. So I ignored her sad face and went in the store. Forty five minutes later, I walked out and she was still sitting there.

“Are you waiting for a ride?” I asked.

“No, I’m just resting. I think I’m a little stressed out,” she said launching into a story about her son and the girlfriend, and the drinking and the fight and the baby and the long walk after she kicked him out of the car.

“Mmmm…family,” I said, listening and deciding what to do next. Offering to pray for her occurred to me but I was afraid to.

“I just trust Jesus about it,” she said giving me the permission I was clearly looking for.

“Would you like me to pray with you?”

“Oh yes I would.”

So I sat down next to her holding my Goodwill bag and prayed. I was nervous that Sam would pull up just then and ask what I was doing, but for the most part I spoke in the same way, to the same God I talk to every day in the quiet privacy of my office.

The thing is, Jesus has no interest in staying in the quiet privacy of my office. He said the world is in sick, sad shape and he’s the answer, so go tell people about it, help them, encourage them and not just in places where it won’t look weird.

Why am I so afraid of that? Why am I so afraid people will think I am a Jesus Freak? I am.

Jesus helped me with depression. He helped me with anxiety. He helped me write a book. He helped me not worry about money when we had no jobs in Texas. He helped me believe that I am here for a reason that’s bigger than I can imagine.

Why would I hide loving a man like that?

In case you’re wondering, I am not one bit holier today than I was yesterday in Goodwill, I’m just a little less selfish and a tiny bit braver. Because of that, I am demonstrably more joyful today.

*So here’s the challenge: Sometime this weekend, do something selfless for a stranger, something that interrupts you for a minute or two and surprises them with its kindness. Report back, I’d love to hear what happens.

Giving = Fruit

Jesus said you will know my disciples by their fruit.*

King David said I’m a green olive tree planted in the house of the Lord.*

The Prophet Isaiah said believers were trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he might be glorified.*

Being a grower myself, I love the Bible’s agricultural metaphors. Not long after I started reading it, I drew this picture in my journal, just to fix the image in my mind. I want to be a fruit-bearing tree of righteousness and grow love, so that hungry people can come and eat.

Can it really be that simple? I think so; but I’m still a sapling. So here’s a piece of fruit from a more mature tree:

Susie Davis is a Christian author, blogger and church-planter from Austin who spoke at a conference I attended, last weekend. She told us she planned to give away something of hers – even expensive things she likes – to her blog readers, every day in October.

Photo Credit: Susie Davis

Yesterday, it was this Coach purse. Yeeeoowwwww!

She’s doing this in part because her pastor-author-husband just wrote a new book called Enough: Finding More by Living with Less, a book she said is sure to wreck her scented candle-filled life; but she’s also doing it because she wants to love people in a practical way.

Giving stuff away feels good and blessing people who would really enjoy a new Coach purse (Pick Me Susie! Pick Me!) feels good. So it’s a win-win.

I’ve already gathered some fruit from Susie Davis’ tree and it was tasty, that’s why I’m sharing it with you. Though I’m sure Susie is far from perfect, this kind of behavior – this kindness – is the mark of a follower.

When you bear much fruit, my Father is honored and glorified and you show and prove yourselves to be true followers of mine. Matthew 15:8

*Matthew 7:20 *Psalm 52:8 *Isaiah 61:3