My family sat on our backyard patio last night just hanging out. The sun was setting. The temperature was a perfect 70-degrees and dropping slightly with a mild breeze. The younger kids jumped on the trampoline while my wife and older kids just talked about life. Eventually, I built a small fire to gaze upon and warm us. Darkness settled in and a couple of our older son’s friends, that he hadn’t seen in a few months, dropped by. We laughed, reminisced, and enjoyed each other’s company. It was good. No, it was wonderful. It was spontaneous.

We spend much of our lives intentionally thinking about the future, making plans, and getting stuff done. This is very good. Without this cadence, we become wandering aimless people without meaning or purpose. And, I am convinced that spontaneity is just as necessary.

Spontaneity is not natural to me. I must work at it. What? By me stating “I must work at it”, shows how incompetent I am at it. Can one really work at being more spontaneous? I’m not sure. However, there are two actions I can do with the hope of embracing spontaneity.

First, I can leave open space in my life. If my life is so structured and filled with activities, then it limits impromptu opportunities. This may mean stopping or saying no to more scheduled activities.

Second, I can be open to the spontaneous moment. It’s easy for me to say “no” because I have my plans and schedule. That feels good and it aligns to my value of “work then play.” Of course, the play is structured. And, if I pause for a moment, consider the unplanned opportunity, and open myself to the possibilities, there might be a beautiful moment to experience.

My encouragement this week is to embrace a spontaneous moment and see what you discover.