Wednesday, October 12, 2011

31 Days: Think Outside the Box

Over the weekend we had what seemed like a monsoon in Florida. A typical Florida rain will last a couple of hours in the afternoon where the clouds will burst to their heart’s content and then it will all be over. If it’s going to rain in Florida you usually don’t have to worry about it ruining your plans. It will come and go and you can enjoy the break of an afternoon shower and then resume whatever you were doing.

But sometime on Friday night it started raining and it didn’t stop until sometime Sunday night. Picnics, beach trips, parades, and even entire festivals were cancelled. On Sunday morning I had what I thought was an original idea. I decided I would go to the farmer’s market in the rain. When I got there the baker’s booth I wanted to visit wasn’t even setup so I never got out of my car. But there was another couple braving the weather to pick produce and do you know what? They got rewarded. They were the only ones at a freshly setup both and they got the pick of the crop.

I proceeded to attempt what I thought was another original idea; go to Panera. What really got me excited about this was that the rain would allow me to park right outside instead of typical downtown scenario which requires a several block walk. I got my prime parking spot and while Panera was quieter than usual, other people had shared this idea as well.

As I settled in with my hazelnut coffee and soufflé by a window to watch the rain I made some observations. First that it was a great idea to go out into the rain while most others in The City Beautiful had relegated themselves to their living rooms. I also noticed that a few brave souls had done something truly original. They had gone through the rain to the usually crowded and now flooded outdoor patio to be alone. It was just them and the rain. Let me tell you, I was jealous.

Probably the most important thing I observed was the need to think differently in order to get the best results. Both the folks on the patio, at the farmer’s market, and I could have stayed home enjoying our dry sofas. But I wanted to retreat with God. The folks on the patio wanted to be alone. Apparently the folks at the farmer’s market were really passionate about produce. This got me thinking that real intentional living will cause us to think differently, to experiment, to take risks. And so I challenge you to break both society’s and your own norms today on your quest for intentional living.

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