Learning to Relax (#627)

Is it easier to follow Jesus when you're anxious and desperate for the outcome you want, or when w're relaxed in his care for you? Over the past two weeks Wayne spent time with professional athletes who discovered in their own respective sports that they were able to function better when they were relaxed and not trying to control the outcome. That got Wayne thinking again how our need to feel in control of outcomes hampers our freedom to simply live in the life God wants to gives us. As he shares that with Brad they talk about how they relax when confronted with important or difficult circumstances. Being at rest in his work is the best way to recognize the opportunities he's putting in front of us and being free enough to respond in a way that most unveils his presence.

Podcast Notes:
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14 Comments

  1. Thanks for the good podcast. It reminded me of this quote from former PGA player and golf instructor, Wally Armstrong:

    “In golf, one of the greatest killers I see is when people try to play the golf swing rather than play golf. They’re so wrapped up in doing their golf swing and trying to put all the pieces together that they forget about trusting their swing and enjoying the round. It’s the same basic trap of “doing” religion: people striving so hard to be Christians that they forget that it’s not about what we do for God but about His desire for us to simply walk with Him and play the game of life with freedom.”

  2. Spirit of God is always loving inside and out; discovering this as reality allows us to enter our rest. Outcome based whatever always requires our works, religious or otherwise. Observing the daily US, rather than me and God, is so much more organic than anything else we pretend or project. This is THE rest Jesus promised us,; not everyone will enter into it. It is something we enter. He loves us, which enables us to love (not outcome based), rather than to care or to carry (from one point to another, the work involved). The emotional load we carry because we care is a real joy killer. Being our organic selves that his love has created is not…

  3. Your conversation kept reminding me of the movie ‘Bagger Vance’. Have you seen it? Maybe it’s because I’m not a golfer, and I don’t recognize all the clichés, but I really liked that movie. There’s this one part that’s helped me when it comes to relaxing, reminding me of how this same God who created me is still with me, and that He is able to take what was lost and make it found again:

    “Inside each and every one of us, there is one true authentic swing. It’s something we was born with … Something that’s ours and ours alone … Something that can’t be taught or learned … Something that’s got to be remembered … Over time the world can, rob us of that swing … It get buried inside us under all our wouldas and couldas and shouldas … Some folk even forget what their swing was like …”

  4. God did it again. I really needed this reminder. I have been praying for my son and finally got the go ahead from the Spirit to talk to him about Jesus. He had been saved at one time, but bad things happened and he turned away. Anyway I had given him some interesting Bible studies but he hadn’t listened to them (I didn’t really expect him to), then today, I got as far as asking him what he thought would happen when he died.

    Fast forward, he went home and in a little bit texted me to ask for the link to the Bible study. I was busy and didn’t read his text for about an hour and when I realized what he wanted, it tore my heart out. He was long gone by then, the moment was gone and I felt guilty about not answering him immediately.

    Of course I prayed about it and got a sort of peace, but kept thinking I should listen to your last podcast! God surely answers prayer and hears out heart’s cry. I know He is guiding my son and feel confident that the time will come in GOD’s time and I am not the one that depends on. I might have done better, but I didn’t. God is bigger than my failures (which one of you said that?) and I trust Him to finish this work He has started.

    It still amazes me how God works.

  5. My experience has been that there is a place that God brings us to in our walk with Him where in His mercy and love He enables us to “chill”, no matter what the situation or circumstance we may find ourselves in. I recall an incident of some years ago where an doomed airliner had 8 minutes to impact. There happened to be a Godly man on board who felt prompted to approach the pilot and ask if he could speak to the passengers.

    Permission was given, and in the ensuing minutes the gospel call was calmly laid out over the intercom. At the end of his presentation and impending impact the passengers were simply asked who would like to commit their lives. All hands went up.

    The black box was recording everything as always, and sure enough, the recording was recovered of those last 8 minutes. I conclude that this was a very rare and unusual situtaion, but our God in His faithfulness no doubt planted the supernatually calmed and composed believer on that aircraft. To Him be the glory.

  6. You are correct Wayne in one sense , but I am talking of an incident decades ago, likely Social Media. I can give you the name of the pastor who relayed this over the pulpit. I am able to add further detail to the outcome as well. The wife wanted a recording of the tape, which the airline at first denied. After significant time, the airline relented and granted the widow her request. I could add more facts but there is no point. Different time, different event.

    • The story just sounded too incredulous to me. I don’t know of an airline captain that would turn over the PA to a passenger in a life-threatening situation. That’s why I searched further on the Internet. This may be a real story. I can’t prove that it isn’t, but I could find no independent verification of such a story and the details you did share is awful close to one that has been debunked as an urban legend. I want to be real careful here that we’re not passing along stories like this that cannot be verified. I’d love further information that verifies an account like this. At the moment I’m a bit skeptical. It’s not personal; it’s just my concern that it is verified.

  7. Thanks for responding Wayne. The Alaskan Airlines incident didn’t even cross my mind when I entered that blog. I agree with the parallels, but again, the incident I was referring to happened on the other side of the world. I might have missed it on the mike thing, the man of God could just as easilty have spoken without any audio aid to a captive audience. Skepticism is not a bad thing. All I know is I told to the best of my recall what that pastor related. And, as I said, this was before Social Media.

  8. At the 10:30 mark Wayne talks about NATO (Not Attached to Outcome) and says they have talked about it before and have a podcast with that as the name, but I can’t find it after searching the archives. Anyone know where I could find the podcast talking more about being not attached to outcomes?
    Thanks!

  9. This is exactly the place God has had me in over the last couple of years. I was walking the park a while back and was asking Father, “What do you want me to do? What’s my next step?” And I heard, “I don’t want you to DO anything. Just rest and learn to relax.” That was quite a shocker for this ministry-driven, DO-FOR-God-focused person who has always been focused on the next thing to do for God. It’s been an interesting journey to say the least. I’m trying to focus on the relationship and learning to follow day-to-day. That’s what I thought I was doing, but it turns out I was really more focused on what I needed to do for God than really learn to relax into that reality.

    This morning, I was reading Galatians in the Message and it talks about this very thing – what freedom really looks like in the form of a right relationship with God:

    11-12 The obvious impossibility of carrying out such a moral program should make it plain that no one can sustain a relationship with God that way. The person who lives in right relationship with God does it by embracing what God arranges for him. Doing things for God is the opposite of entering into what God does for you. Habakkuk had it right: “The person who believes God, is set right by God—and that’s the real life.” Rule-keeping does not naturally evolve into living by faith, but only perpetuates itself in more and more rule-keeping, a fact observed in Scripture: “The one who does these things [rule-keeping] continues to live by them.”

    13-14 Christ redeemed us from that self-defeating, cursed life by absorbing it completely into himself. Do you remember the Scripture that says, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree”? That is what happened when Jesus was nailed to the cross: He became a curse, and at the same time dissolved the curse. And now, because of that, the air is cleared and we can see that Abraham’s blessing is present and available for non-Jews, too. We are all able to receive God’s life, his Spirit, in and with us by believing—just the way Abraham received it.

    My favorite phrase in there is “the person who lives in right relationship with God does it by what God arranges for Him.” I think that’s what relaxing in Him is all about. Trusting Him enough to know that what He arranges is enough. I don’t have to strive to arrange things, or begin things, or what the next step is, but learn to trust Him in the everyday moments that He is working in. If I’m listening and seeking Him, I will learn more and more to recognize those moments and respond to them.

    I’m far from perfect at this but am learning to see God in those little moments as I continue to seek and learn from Him.

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