Heads or Tails: Spontaneity
[mk_dropcaps style="fancy-style"]T[/mk_dropcaps]he other side of the coin of being present from Intention is spontaneity. While we must be purposeful in where and how we spend our time it cannot be contrived or forced. It is those surprise moments of opportunity to go deeper in a conversation and to get to the heart and root of a matter with someone that requires spontaneity. Why? Because the moments often are not planned or scheduled. They pop up right in our face seemingly out of the blue. That means we must be willing to be inconvenienced as well as have an awareness to recognize and seize the opportunity placed in front of us. By definition to be present means: in nature to be current in this moment, actually being here. In other words you are completely in the moment including your mind, body, and spirit. The physical is the easy part. Just show up. It is the mind that can be the trickiest to rally into the present moment. That is where the key of spontaneity resides. If our thoughts are wandering through the past, or the future we are actually not present to all of our capacity. We are at best 2/3 present but that does not add up for very significant interactions. The most valued time is spent where you happen upon moments where you engage fully. Intention helps create room amongst a life of chaos and is a way to create enough margin to have the capacity spontaneous moments. The caution comes in trying to be one extreme or the other.
We cannot be all spontaneous and believe we can just happen upon moments of significant interaction all the time. Think about a married couple, there must be a level of intention. In that there can be an established rhythm of time set a part to maintain connection and depth to the relationship, especially with kids in the picture. Is there enough flexibility and spontaneity to seize the times stumbled upon that are unplanned and unintentional? You could look at this for the key aspects of life: your health, your finances, business, spiritual growth, intellectual development. Fully present interactions are just as intention as they are required to flexibly spontaneous based off the moment.
If we are too rigid and too intentional we become like the muscles of a body builder. While powerful their range of moment becomes very limited without proper stretching. Have you seen those men who can’t rest their arms to their sides because their back muscles are so overly developed? That is what someone who is overly rigid and intentional can look like. You must increase the capacity without breaking or tearing with the stretch of spontaneity. But if you end up only stretching your strength suffers.
In relationships of all kinds the yo-yo back and forth between intention and spontaneity is a necessary constant. When you embrace the truth of this it almost becomes like a beat that you can find the rhythm to and flow with the precision of musicality of a dancer.
[mk_blockquote style="line-style" font_family="none" text_size="16" align="center"]The element of unknown is what keeps life so beautiful and interesting. [/mk_blockquote]
Plus in this back and forth we get to uncover the gold in others, learn more about ourselves, and even see more of our God revealed through the love that is transferred back and forth.
It bears repeating one more time, “Whoever fears God will avoid all extremes.” Ecclesiastes 7:18. We cannot be extreme in our lives and walk out the great commission. Bringing the best of ourselves to relationships and being fully present requires a blend of intention and spontaneity. The pace of life today tries to pull us away from that which is most important, and we need both tools to push back against the noise. Most of all though, we simply need to keep our focus on Jesus. He is the best example of intention and spontaneity.