I like to think I’m spontaneous and live in the moment, but then I tend to overthink my need to practice spontaneity until I begin to realize I’m not spontaneous at all. Or am I? I hope you’re as confused as I am.
Everyone has a uniquely distinct personality based on both biological (e.g. genetics) and environmental factors, and I was blessed with many characteristics and personality traits from my mom and dad. My need to have structure and desire to be a lifelong learner came from my mother, whereas my willingness to accept change and have a “big-picture” mentality was adapted from my father’s personality (I also have his humor).
In short, my mom is a planner and my dad is more spontaneous.
There is nothing wrong with either of those personalities, but the ability to roll with the punches and take things as they are has always attracted me. And so, recently I began (trying) to live in the moment…but for the wrong reasons. I sought for rest and peace through impulsivity and trying not to care about the minutiae, but that only led to greater stress and anxiety. In fact, I’ve learned that impulsivity is far from being anywhere close to spontaneity:
Impulsivity is driven by a lack of control, whereas spontaneity is driven by a lack of constraint.
As Christians, the Holy Spirit moves within us in beautiful ways. The process of making ourselves vulnerable and loosening the constraints we have over our own lives allows the Spirit to use our strengths and weaknesses for fulfilling His works. Stepping back and allowing His voice be guidance leads to a greater sense of peace and security. True spontaneity is fulfilled by acts of faith. – So, here’s the kicker:
Self-empowerment and flourishing is to realize we can’t be in control.
Paul puts it best in the second epistle to the Corinthians, “But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me” (2 Corinthians 12:9, ESV).
Friends, we are to delight in our weakness for we may rest in the power of Christ. The act of “being spontaneous” does not mean we must be outgoing, visit cool places, and always go on adventures (despite what our Instagram feeds glorify). Spontaneity comes from our willingness to be vulnerable.
It can be difficult to prepare a meal off-the-cuff or in a spontaneous fashion…especially for someone like me. I recommend making homemade breakfast burritos on a weekday morning. “Wait, did he say weekday?” Well, no. I wrote it, imaginary person.
As Tom Haverford from Parks and Rec notably exclaims, “treat yo’ self”.
It’s important to take time out of your busy week to make something that makes you happy. For me, that’s a breakfast burrito.
Here’s a link to a recipe that will make 12 burritos. For a family…or just for you. I don’t judge.
I recommend a song called “More Like Love” by Ben Rector for spontaneity. (Another great song for this is “Fear” by the same artist…but I used that song last year. I didn’t want to double-dip).
“…getting what I want will never be enough. I just want to look more like love.”
Lord, you are the source of all joy, and there are many times when I need to be reminded of that.
I confess that I desire stability, and I search for it in things other than you.
Thank you for being strong when I am weak, and I pray that you test me to pursue spontaneity and continue growing in my faith.
Grant me the ability to recognize that I am ultimately not in control and that your plans for me are greater than anything I can do for myself.
Spontaneity doesn’t happen if we try to be spontaneous – trust me – been there, done that. One of the best ways to be more spontaneous is to release constraints that we put on ourselves and to test our own limits.
A great way to achieve this is to reconnect with friends and establish new relationships. There are times we get lost in our own head, and what we really need is community to bring out different perspectives and new ideas. This week, schedule time out of your day to grab some coffee with a colleague, reconnect with an old friend, or even go out on a limb and meet someone new. Emotional honesty, spiritual growth, and understanding more of who we are in Christ are a few of the outcomes of living spontaneously.
“Beauty in the Spontaneous”