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GOING WITH THE FLOW




Going with the flow suggests a spontaneous, easy-going way of doing life. Taking life as it comes. Sounds good; however, most of us must make plans, manage schedules and organise our daily lives to make room for work andenjoyment.


Right now though, I would like to examine the topic of flow, differently. Positive psychology has coined the term ‘flow’ as being in a state of mind where we are operating in a space that requires little or no stress as we function in a free-flowing way. As a result, ‘during them we no longer think of our everyday lives or ourselves. Time perception is also altered’ … ‘experiences may occur during reading, sports, involvement in creative arts and music, ritual or in certain types of work.’ [they are] ‘intrinsically and immediately rewarding …’ [1]


Positive psychology suggests that flow is the emotional and intellectual occurrence when one is immersed in activities involving complete concentration and focus, where time passes quickly or seems suspended. To enter this head space, requires that we are actively engaged in something that we find extremely enjoyable, relaxing and are passionate about.


For me personally, I love to be engaged in or talk with or to others about these topics: women, marriage, swimming or coaching. I wonder what activities or topics you are excited and passionate about? Are these things that God enables you in some way? Perhaps you might like to ask yourself if you are currently operating in them for His purpose as He designed. Because, whoo hoo --- hold on world when you are!


One example comes to mind of one of the new members to our AWI (A Woman of Influence) team. She is an experienced fundraiser and using her enthusiasm, she achieves much which encourages others. She truly is excited and passionate about the cause and fundraising, so operates in a perpetual state of flow. Like our new team member, I believe that God designed you and I to flow in our strengths for His special purpose for our lives. It’s tremendously life-giving to us and others as we operate in this way.


The Bible, I believe, talks about this in these (and other) verses:


In Acts 13:36 we read when David had served God’s purpose in his generation, he passed away. In other words, David had a purpose and was immersed in it, until he went to be with the Lord. We know from the many Psalms that David wrote, he was totally engaged in the things of God.


In Proverbs 19:21, God tells us about the many plans that we have in our hearts but that the Lord’s purpose will stand. I love that. His purpose will happen.

God’s ways are not our ways and the why of His purpose for us is sometimes not too clear but we can rest assured that it is still the best way for us. In Isaiah 46:11b, God talks about the fact that He has spoken His purposes and that He will bring them to pass. What amazing encouragement this is! So no more striving, as we operate in flow, in our giftings, for our life’s purposes.


What is God calling you to do? It might be something that will keep you awake at night, thinking about it, in a good way. Or, you want to tell everyone and keep talking about it with others. When you think about these topics, you will be excited and passionate and it will be transformational for you and your world. How awesome! This is the body of Christ operating.


Science has a bit to say about the benefits of flow and one of the main theories is that our well-being is impacted by flow and the resultant productivity. It also significantly reduces anxiety and promotes self-esteem and even influences improved outcomes in organisations in the areas of work, performance and work relationships. In all walks of life, flow is said to improve meaning in life, increases personal skills, helps manage stress better and improves our ability to manage challenging situations. Flow also affects academic performance and confidence in study activities. Finally, the more flow, the more clarity we have about one’s goals and the pleasure of achieving them.


As Christians, prayer, Bible and hope, produce spiritual flow to exponentially increase our well-being. Amazing stuff!


Think about your flow experiences, when your perception of time stops and you are completely engaged in very pleasant and enjoyable pastimes. How about if you now transfer that flow that you already possess, to your Christian practices such as prayer, Bible study, worship or whatever it might be to begin flowing in the things of God.


Let’s make it our goal to operate in our strengths, to fulfil His purposes in us, for us and others in flow. And then world, look out!


Blessings

Peta


Listen to more about this topic-96three FM, 8.30 am Thursdays.

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[1] Positive Psychology: the science of happiness and human strengths: Alan Carr, p. 133.



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