(My apologies again for the redundancy of my blog lately. I'm working through some things and processing them through writing is well… The Most Helpful Thing. Also, the photos have nothing to do with the post, I just really Love Trees)
I wrote this a couple of months ago:
For the most part I have switched from having conversations with my crazy/smart ass Inner Voice to having conversations with Jesus and it’s been awesome.
Except today when I got super stressed out, All Three of us got into it. And it went a little something like this:
Me: Crap, this sucks. I want more chocolate.
Inner Voice: Oh! Orrrr, a drink. A drink would be super. Or a smoke, that would also be super.
Me: Nope. That would totally not be helpful.
Jesus: Yeah, no.
Me: Jesus, help me calm down please. I know this is all going to work out, and I know you are in control, but I need to be taking deeper breaths right now.
Inner Voice: Wait! No! I don’t want to calm down! I have the right to be freaking out right now!! I have a ton of stuff going on!
Jesus: Yes, you’re right; you do have a ton of stuff going on. And you do have that right. Go ahead and freak out if you want to and let me know if you find that helpful.
Me: Ha. Haha. See, I told you so. Stop freaking out, it’s not even helpful. What does Nancy say?
Inner Voice (in a totally mocking tone): *sigh* “What can you do to calm yourself by one percent?”
Me: Right. What can I do? Eat some normal food, take some deep breaths, make a list and work on it.
Jesus: Yes, great. And know that I am here and this will all be ok. And I am bigger than these circumstances. And they do not surprise me. And I love you so much.
Inner Voice: That’s dumb. Calming down by one percent isn’t even that helpful.
Jesus: It is more helpful than calming down by zero percent.
Me: Touché. Thanks Jesus. Let’s go get some soup.
A funny conversation maybe, but it was the beginning of a huge shift for me. It was the beginning of me deciding to do The Most Helpful Thing. It’s kind of my new life strategy. (I will just be very honest and say that a lot of my life has been spent doing The Most Fun Thing, or The Easiest Thing, or Nothing at All and yes, sometimes The Right Thing.) It’s not the most revolutionary idea and I’m sure there are a lot of people who are very intentional about doing The Most Helpful Thing all the time. It’s new to me though and I’m not even sure exactly how to explain it. It means for me, in every circumstance I am doing my best to understand and walk out The Most Helpful Thing.
I’m not sure why it is a strategy I’m only just now implementing. I think being intentional about seeking first His Kingdom has helped. I think maybe having enough breathing room to figure out some goals to work towards has helped. I do know that having it in my brain has been so well… helpful. It plays out in big and little things. I have given myself a bedtime because staying up all hours of the night is not The Most Helpful Thing. I give money to charity because buying another new shirt is not The Most Helpful Thing. I eat food all the time because it is The Most Helpful Thing, (and because honestly, I quite like food). I listen to worship music instead of the gut wrenching indie-pop I am naturally drawn to because for me it is The Most Helpful Thing. I spend time with Jesus everyday because it is The Most Helpful Thing. You get the idea…
Just to clarify, I’m not talking about doing The Right Thing or The Wrong Thing. That thinking all but paralyzed me in the past and I ended up overwhelmed with making right or wrong choices all the time, feeling awful when I made the wrong ones and other times feeling totally stuck trying to figure out the right ones. The Most Helpful Thing is an easier concept for me to grasp, it seems more doable, more hopeful.
For the most part somewhere inside of me, I am aware of what The Most Helpful Thing is (and I think I was in the past when I didn’t choose it, I was just not as intent about it). And I’m not saying that forever and always I am perfectly doing The Most Helpful Thing, or that I always know for sure what that might look like. But when I’m unsure about what to do, I pray and listen. And when I slip up I ask for forgiveness, find grace, get up and try again.
Not sure if this makes any sense at all or if it’s sound advice… I do know that “Jesus take the wheel and all that jazz” is The Most Helpful Thing for me and trusting Him is way, way easier than trying to do The Right Thing all the time. So there you go… a long and rambling explanation of a maybe-crazy-girl’s Most Helpful strategy.