Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is— his good, pleasing and perfect will.
Romans 12:2 (NIV)
“Do not conform…” whew, that’s good advice. Thankfully, I was present this morning. I was non-conformist. I was walking the dog, winding down, making my way back home. I was not chatting on my cell phone. I was neither texting, nor reading emails…though there was one message I dearly wanted to check for…I confess to listening to Coltrane on my iPod, but I use music to clear my head of everything else when I walk or run. I was being non-conformist.
Had I done what we so easily do, allow ourselves to become distracted, “multi-tasking.” I might’ve gotten hit by the SUV backing out of its driveway this morning, going really fast. God had his hand on me. I waited patiently, as I try consistently to do when walking my dog, in case motorists and others who share the road aren’t paying attention to me. I am important to me, but not so self-important that I disconnect from the present when I need to be there. I was being non-conformist. I’m not always non-conformist.
Yesterday, in worship service, I conformed. I became distracted, was not open, and probably missed my blessing. My mind wandered, I checked my phone for the time, the scripture, and a couple commentaries when I didn’t think I entirely agreed with the speaker’s exegesis. I conformed.
I didn’t feel entirely convicted by yesterday’s conformity until the driver of today’s SUV stopped, thanked God that I was paying attention to her and chatted for a moment or two before exiting her driveway and going on her way. I offered her what I hoped to have been an encouraging smile, and a blessing. I was thankful to have been present, paying attention, not conforming, and that’s when it hit me. Worship is a contract, and I defaulted.
How often do you default? Not just in worship, but in relationships? How often do you give just enough, instead of being fully present, in everything? Multi-tasking, at which I used to excel, is a boondoggle. According to the Harvard Business Review, we lose as much as 40%% of our productivity when juggling multiple tasks instead of focusing on one thing at a time. Need more? Multitasking is stressful leading to declines is both overall health and performance, according to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. Being non0conformist is a gift from God.
I confess I was a little shaken after the SUV pulled away. That’s the way it is with me, in the moment, I am absolutely attuned, laser-focused, clear--when I am all there. Thank You Lord, both for the gift of presence, and the ability to reflect upon and hopefully learn from my failings. I’m being non-conformist, because that’s what’s in Your Word. I’m being obedient. It’s good for my health, good for my mind, and great for my soul. An abundant blessing. This Monday’s evidence that God is good.
Today’s Feast: Brewing the perfect cup of tea for one
Back Story—I read a great article in Britain’s Daily Telegraph suggesting that the secret to a perfect cup of tea is …wait for it… “Patience”
Instructions for the perfect cup of tea
1. Add 6.5 oz of freshly boiled water to your tea bag (in a mug).
2. Allow the tea bag to brew for 2 minutes.
3. Remove the tea bag.
4. Add 2t milk. (enhances the flavors of toffee and vanilla while minimizing bitterness in black tea)
5. Wait 6 minutes before consumption for the cuppa to reach its optimum temperature of 140 degrees F