Restoring Our Default Settings: A Spiritual Encounter

Restoring Our Default Settings: A Spiritual Encounter

In our technologically advanced world, we’ve become accustomed to customizing settings on our devices and appliances to match our preferences. It’s great when it works, but sometimes, we change too many settings or the wrong settings, resulting in chaos. Similarly, in life, we often set our default values based on societal expectations and personal desires. But have we ever considered whether our default settings align with our spiritual journey?

Recently, during a women’s Bible study, I had an encounter that made me question my defaults. The host asked a simple icebreaker question: “What’s on your bucket list?” The group became engaged hearing the varied answers. Most responses revolved around travel, career goals, or family concerns. However, it struck me later in the day that none of us had mentioned anything related to God or Jesus on our bucket lists.

Wait- hold up a minute! Let’s be clear, I am not passing judgment on personal desires and goals. Most of us have them. We’re humans. And, given the opportunity we should embrace those experiences whenever possible. However, when posed with the question, it was as if we responded by default, and it made me realize the need to restore our spiritual defaults. I am reminded of St. Augustine who wrote in Confessions, capturing the essence of what resonates deep within the human person, our defaults per se. “You have made us for yourself, O Lord and our hearts are restless until they rest with you.”

So, allow me to pose the question to you. “What is on your bucket list?” This time let us reflect on how we can restore our defaults to align with our faith journey. The following priorities were impressed upon my heart.

1.    God First: Make God the default setting in your life. Let everything you do, from eating and drinking to your daily actions, be done to the glory of God (1 Corinthians 10:31, ESV).

2.    Eternal Focus: Prioritize eternal things over the temporal. Jesus came that we may have abundant life (John 10:10).

3.    Grow in Grace: Strive to grow into God’s image and knowledge. Pursue grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ (2 Peter 3:18).

4.    Choose the Right Options: When presetting your default values, choose love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. These are the attributes that align with the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23).

5.    Seek God’s Kingdom First: Remember that your temporal bucket list should be subordinate to the eternal. Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all things will be added to you (Matthew 6:33).

God doesn’t want to withhold your desires that are for your good and His glory. When creating your bucket list, think of God first, and then fill your bucket with intentions that align with your faith journey. Just as in my book, “Stop Hiding: Unlock Your Potential and Embrace the 5 Pillars of a Growth Mindset,” I describe the process as lowering a bucket into a well. This well holds the potential to replenish our spirit, offering a deep sense of purpose… and emerging with the elixir of life to lead us where we want to go.

So, as you consider your bucket list, remember to restore your defaults, and walk hand in hand with God on your journey. Go with God, and you’ll find that when your life’s settings align perfectly with His divine plan you are living the abundant life.

In faith and growth, Jocelyn

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