Sometimes my day job is little more than busy work for an entire day. Filling out forms, prepping post office mailers, repetitive quick books entries. . . that sort of thing. In an effort to make those chores a little more delightful, I have been known declare those days “TV days”.
As I set up my plan for the day, I would load up the TV or my computer with my favorite shows that Jeff can’t stand (pretty much any and all Bravo shows) for background noise. With one of my primary deficiencies being “lack of focused attention”, repetitive activities and I don’t get along very well, so I quickly found that I could trick myself into doing these things by treating myself to crap TV. Win, Win.
This was maybe a once a week occurrence, but nevertheless, I eventually became a little convicted about filling my heart and mind with Real Housewives drama, Vanderpump RIDICULOUSNESS and Million Dollar Listings. Now, I’m not saying that we shouldn’t EVER watch those shows (I just saw that the Shah’s are back on TONIGHT!), but I did begin to see how when I was listening to this mess hour after hour that I was leaking out the good stuff that I’d gotten from my quiet time that morning.
I was giving “the world” and its’ values a little more room to squeeze into my psyche. And during these days that I’m desiring to “go deeper” with God, I figured I needed to come up with a better solution for my busy work distraction. At the same time I was feeding a mild obsession with all things Elevation Church, having recently learned that God was bringing my very favorite church to my community, so one day I decided to tune into the Elevation Network instead of spending time with my friends on Bravo.
Now, I’ll admit, having a sermon on in the background isn’t quite as distracting as Lisa Vanderpump and all of her magnificence, however, I did find that tuning into Jesus in the background changed the tone of my thoughts and my heart for the day. I was more receptive to seeing what God was up to and what He was trying to get through my thick skull.
Le sigh . . . and wouldn’t this be just the kind of thing He had in mind when He put all of this “going deeper” stuff on my heart in the first place. Sigh again. . .
The mission statement of Elevation is: “We exist so that people far from God will be raised to life in Christ”. A few weeks ago, while listening in, Furtick referred to the what might be the most moving words in that sentence. Not the God. Not the Christ. Not the raised to life.
The “SO THAT“.
He challenged the listeners to start including a “SO THAT” in each and every prayer that they pray. It struck me as notable goodness so I made a note and stuck it on my computer screen thinking that I would glance it every once and remember to include it in my prayers.
But man, it has stuck and become so much more than a sticky note. It is GOODNESS.
Jeff gave me a prayer journal for Christmas that I start a new entry into every Monday. There is a section for new prayers, old prayers, prayers answered and praises. Each week I make my lists and since hearing this message, have ended each of the prayers with a “SO THAT”.
- Please help Jeff sell trucks this week SO THAT we can give more money to YOUR church.
- Please help us find a new house SO THAT your will can be done for our family in it.
- Please save these friends’ marriage, SO THAT each spouse can experience the Your love.
- Please help me find peace with my body, SO THAT dieting is not a distraction from what You want me to do.
- Please make your plans known to the planning team of the Elevation Space Coast Extension Site SO THAT people around me will be raised to life in Christ.
It occurs to me that by defining our so thats that we will also likely stumble upon what is most important to us. For me, this “going deeper” thing is about filling up more on Him than on my own desires. It’s about getting more of Him and less of me. It’s about following His direction in my life, rather than my own aimless pursuits. Incorporating this simple so that can take us so much deeper into our selves and closer to the heart of God if that’s what we’re shooting for.
Jeff was on a goal setting kick at the first of the year, both personally and professionally, and we spent quite a bit of time sitting down and making lists of what we want to accomplish with the business, internally and externally.
Looks like we forgot a step.
Now, I see that we need to go back and revise those goals so that as we start tackling those lists, we focus on what is really important and can prioritize those items that are kingdom builders rather than the more selfish pursuits. Not that there won’t be some of those along the way, but at least we can be mindful of what we are doing with our time and how we are spending our money so that we aren’t getting overly lopsided in self-driven pursuits.
I also now want to go back and add “So That” to the businesses mission statement and to my statement of intent for a writing project I’m working on so that we can be used in mighty ways.