The past few weeks I’ve been teaching my international students at the university the practice of “being” and not “doing” when it comes to leadership. Why is this so difficult for us? We want to know what the next steps are and yet sometimes we aren’t willing to pay the price to “be” instead of “do.”
If you joined me on Wednesday night for the weekly Facebook Live in the Live Bold Series Group, I shared the many reasons why I love peering into the lives of bold women in history. Amy Carmichael, Emma Dryer, Hannah Whitall Smith, and Mrs. Oswald Chambers to name a few. They have a common thread of walking out their faith. There is a theme of learning what it means to sit in God’s presence and to be still that accompanies their “doing.”
Each of these women faced unexpected challenges and yet they kept their hearts and minds fixed on Jesus (Psalm 57:7).
Amy Carmichael challenges, If we wait till we have clear enough vision to see the expected end before we stay our mind upon Him who is our strength, we shall miss an opportunity that will never come again. Now is the time to say, My heart is fixed, O God, my heart is fixed: I will sing and give praise. (Psalm 57:7), even though as we say the words there is no sense of exultation.
Their vision was not dependant on clarity and certainty. It was dependant on God by waiting, listening, and taking steps of faith as they heard God whisper to move ahead. They “stayed their mind” on Jesus. They learned what it meant “to be.” Amy challenges us to keep our minds focused which in turn influences our behavior.
I don’t know about you, but when I am feeling anxious about a situation or a decision I need to make, I need some tools to help me “stay my mind” on Christ.
Here are five ways to practice “being” so you can stay your mind on Jesus.
1. Worship music:
Fill your day with praises to God and watch your anxiety melt away by refocusing your thoughts on the praises of God.
Move out of your ordinary routine to pray. Take a walk and release all your thoughts to God and then take some time to walk and just listen. Take a drive and park at the beach, park, or a place of God’s creation you admire. Pray for 5 minutes. Listen for 5 minutes, and then pray for another 5 minutes.
3. Read a passage of the Psalms:
Read and look at the pattern of David’s prayers. He was authentic and yet always brought it back to focusing on what God could do and who He is. Speak it out loud. Here are a few to get you started: Psalm 42, Psalm 91, Psalm 37.
4. Write your own Psalm:
In a journal record what you are facing or the decision you need to make. Turn the last part of your writing into praises of confession believing that God:
is for you,
will provide, and that
He loves you no matter what.
5. Serve others:
Purposefully plan to do something to serve someone else who is in need. Whether making a meal for a neighbor, write a note of encouragement, or drive someone to the doctor. Focusing on helping others can keep our mind stayed on Jesus.
These are not new ideas. Being intentional about the simple basics and practicing “being” can bring a fresh perspective.
Excerpt from: A Very Present Help by Judith Couchman, 1996 Servant Publications.)