And when you start your first job or internship, there's pressure to be a spiritual influence on those around you and be a leader. You might have Christian friends or a pastor ask you: So, who are you reaching out to at work? Or, has anyone accepted Christ yet in your office?
But I'm not so sure God wanted it to feel like pressure for us. Do you think Jesus felt pressure?
“‘Very truly I tell you, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does. For the Father loves the Son and shows him all he does. Yes, and he will show him even greater works than these, so that you will be amazed.’ ” John 5:19-20
I don't think he felt pressure in the same way you and I feel it. He seemed at peace, unhurried and unburdened in his interactions and the way he kept his relationships.
Here are some practical ways you and I can get into the same flow that Jesus had:
1. Pray less but more frequently: I know, it sounds mildly heretical, but what I mean is what if you experimented by praying more often throughout the day, like every hour for a minute or two, rather than try to cram all of your prayer requests in on your commute to work. It might shift prayer for you to be more relational and conversational, and you might start catching glimpses of the things God is up to throughout the day. Your life with God would become less compartmentalized.
2. Think like a Spiritual Director: a good spiritual director recognizes that his/her role is to help you identify the movements of God within and around you, and respond to God appropriately with courage and faith. They ask great questions like: Where are you sensing God draw you into relationship with someone? Where are you feeling his invitation to bless someone around you?
3. Use your imagination: what are the things that God is into? Probably things like: being kind, using your words to encourage others, helping people experience acceptance, being a source of healing, working with excellence....when you start living out of a sense of imagination, I think we start catching more glimpses of what God is up to.
What do you need to start or stop doing to experience less pressure but more connection with God?