During my morning commute, I am trying to educate myself in some way, which means that I either listen to NPR or a podcast. On a recent morning, I chose the podcast called RobCast by Rob Bell, episode 85, and he was talking about being truly present. He was telling a story about a trip to Miami. He was supposed to interview this terribly successful person; he went to his house and set up his equipment. Yet during the course of their conversation, which lasted over 2 hours, the interview never happened. Rob had to let go of what he thought was going to happen, what he planned to have happen, and just enjoy the conversation he was actually having. Something was happening in Miami, just not the something he expected.
And then Rob said, “surrender your agenda to the thing that is happening in the room.”
Many people talk about the power of being present. There is advice about how to limit the distractions and focus your attention. Rob’s request that we need to surrender our agenda was a new twist and one that resonated with me deep in the bones. As a type A individual, I love a plan, and I love seeing a plan unfold in front me just like I had imagined. I’m also the first to admit that rarely does that happen. Something always seems to slightly alter the plan, just enough to keep you on your toes and remind you that despite how hard you try, you are never in complete control.
Since listening to this RobCast, I’ve asked myself to surrender my agenda more and more. By doing so I have remembered more about specific conversations I was part of, I have limited the moments in the day where I am multi-tasking, and I feel more at peace with my thoughts. I’ve been addicted to my simplified planner because as I remember things I need to do, while in the midst of something else, I write it down and then return to what I was doing.
Our time is a gift. How do you want to spend it?