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April 2023

Nudgings #45 - April 28, "Default or Design"

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Are you living by default or design?

I am a school teacher and the other day one of my fifth graders showed up in class with a set of three juggling balls. She said that she won them at a carnival and wanted to donate them to our classroom. I asked her why she didn’t want to keep them and she said, “Because I don’t know how to juggle.”

She handed me the balls and I began to juggle them. The whole class was in awe and asked, “How did you learn how to do that?” I told them that I learned how to juggle when I was their age. One Saturday morning I got three of my dad’s racquetballs, stepped away from the TV and the inner voice in my head that said, “you can’t,” and I spent the entire day learning how to juggle. I must have bent over a million times that day to pick up a dropped ball, but through failure, frustration, tears, anger and work, I ended the day knowing how to juggle.

I told the kids, you can either live by default or design. Default is the place of stay the way you are, let life happen and end up where you end up. Design is where you take action, make your life, choose your way and engage in becoming a person who can juggle, write, draw, play music, invent, create beauty, help others … whatever!

In Romans 12:1-2 the Apostle Paul exhorts us to engage with Jesus in designing our lives. He writes,

So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you. (MSG)

Default says, “it is what it is,” but design says, “make it, move it, change it, create it.” Paul says we design our lives by fixing our eyes on Jesus and offering our bodies, minds, hearts and souls to God—for His glory.

Jesus died for our sins and rose from the grave to give us abundant life—today and forevermore—and he says to each one of us, “come to me and truly live!” God’s mercies are new every morning and He graciously gives each one of us a set of three juggling balls and a Saturday and says, “start becoming.”

Are you living by default or by “His” design?

By the way, that little gal in my classroom decided to keep the three balls and is well on her way to learning how to juggle.