I’ve been listening to Rob Bell’s How to Be Here on Audible. As usual, the Holy Spirit is at work in my life, and I’m hearing exactly what I need to hear exactly when I need to hear it.
In the last section I listened to, Rob talks about how being here means focusing on the first step. “1 is always the first number”, he writes. He shares a few stories about how we miss the importance of the present task when we focus on worry about steps 6, 11, and 42 instead of focusing on step 1. Most times, we have no idea what those future steps will be, but we miss the present worrying about them.
Rob shares a great story about how he had an idea to film a sermon in a new way and how the journey to create that visual presentation took on a completely different form than the team had originally envisioned. I recognized elements of the story and knew that the end product was part of the Nooma series, which I love.
I’ve seen the resulting video and cannot imagine it in any other format. In fact, I facilitated a Christian formation session at my church on that very video. I watched the video several times while preparing, and I *still* cried when we watched it that Sunday, It was deeply moving.
Lately, I’ve been very disconnected and all over the place. I’ve been stressed out about the unknown outcome of several things I’m currently working on. I can’t go into detail… yet. I’ve had a few sleepless night stressing out over future steps that aren’t even in the picture yet.
In the meantime, I’m missing out on the joy of the process. I’m missing out on today.
Rob’s writing has reminded me that my actions today are all I can control. The results and the next steps are really in God’s hands. It also reminded me that I’m probably missing important clues as to what is coming if I’m not present here and now.
I’m also causing myself a lot of grief by worrying about things over which I have ZERO control. I can’t force someone to buy our house. I can’t make the house we want stay on the market until someone does finally buy our place. I have no control over changes at work or church. Things will play out however God has planned whether I ruin my day stressing about it or not.
So I’m choosing to intentionally let go. Way easier said then done, but I’m forcing myself to take a quick 5 minutes break every time I feel the stress welling up. I pull out a journal or my Bible. I find some advice or have a conversation with the paper about how I’m feeling. Then, I actively choose something else to think about.
It’s hard. Perhaps the hardest. But it’s necessary for my sanity. I have to stay focused on number 1. It starts there.