I know what you’re thinking. “I don’t have the time to add one more thing to my already overloaded schedule.” I’m right there with you. It seems like every person I speak with, myself included, feels this way. We have demanding jobs. Busy family lives. Packed weekends with house repairs, ball games, and that quick getaway. Then church on Sundays. Adding one more thing, even thinking about one more thing, just seems like too much to bear.
Ready for some good news?
You don’t have to add a single thing to your life to begin living SENT.
Yes. You heard that right.
Let me explain.
Living SENT is not about addition; it’s about integration.Tweet
What’s the difference? An illustration would be helpful here.
Picture a minivan. This minivan is packed to the gills with luggage, car seats, leftover fast-food wrappers, and kids. The family is leaving for a vacation. They could use some additional space in the vehicle for the souvenirs they plan to buy but it’s just not there. What do they do? Dad heads to the local hardware store and grabs a box of bungie cables and rachet straps (good thinking Dad!).
Their vacation went great but they will be bringing more stuff home than when they left. As they pack to leave, they are now bursting from the seams. Clark Griswold’s station wagon has nothing on this minivan. Mom and Dad have constructed a luggage mountain on the roof of the vehicle. Don’t worry. All of the knickknacks, boogie boards, and beach chairs are “securely” tied down with a web of roping that would make any Boy Scout proud. By piling extra stuff on top of their already maxed out minivan, the family would be able to make it home.
As they pull into the driveway, their oldest son drops a toy on the floor. It goes under the floorboard cover. He reaches down, peels back the floorboard cover, only to see the words, “Sto-N-Go Seating” printed on the ground. He grabs the latch, lifts it up, revealing the secret storage compartment that’s been below the surface this whole time. “Dad, what’s all this space under the floorboard?!”
I completely made that story up but it’s had to have happened at some point, right? Here’s my point: Living SENT is not an add-on; it’s something we can integrate into the space we currently have. That’s the beauty of it.
Here’s some practical ways to begin integrating Living SENT into your life:
- Look at your schedule: Instead of creating a new calendar event (addition), ask yourself, “Where can I invite someone into what I’m are already doing (integration)?” Are you going out to eat this week? Invite someone to join you. Are you and your family going to a concert or a kids sporting event? Bring someone along. Do you regularly take a walk around your neighborhood? Invite your next-door neighbor to walk with you. Don’t believe the myth that you have to add something to your schedule to begin Living SENT.
- Look at your spheres of life: So often we like to think of life in “spheres” or categories. We have our home sphere, our work sphere, our hobby sphere, our faith sphere, our social-life sphere, and on and on it goes. My point here is not to discuss whether we should or should not think this way about life. I simply want to point out that these spheres typically do not cross-pollinate. The people we spend time with in one sphere generally do not mingle with the people in our other spheres of life. But what if they did? What if we began to merge them together? What would it look like for our “faith sphere” and “social-life sphere” to merge into one? What about “home sphere” and “hobby sphere?”
Don’t underestimate the power of changing your thinking on this aspect of Living SENT. It can literally change your life. I share a story about how this happened in my friend’s life in my book, “Living SENT: Discover How Everyday Habits Can Make an Eternal Difference.” Check out the excerpt here:
A few years ago, Lindsey and I were invited by a group of friends to take a weekend camping trip in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. One evening after dinner, the guys decided to set up some hammocks in the trees around our campsite. While relaxing, we began talking about our small group and some new ideas we would like to incorporate into our weekly gatherings. Tom suggested we immediately begin including a meal during our small group gathering. As the host and leader of the group, Tom wanted to gauge our interest in sharing a meal with the other members on a regular basis.
After a few seconds of silence, Brett chimed in, “That’s a cool idea, but I don’t think it’s going to work. I think it’s just too expensive.”
“Really?” I said. “It’s not that expensive.”
Tom then asked, “Brett, do you plan on eating every night?”
“Well, yeah . . . of course,” he said.
“Then just bring that,” Tom said. “Just bring what you were planning to eat, and come ready to share it with others.”
I was struck by the simplicity of Tom’s statement: Just bring what you were planning to eat, and come ready to share it with others. Brett was operating out of an addition mindset, while Tom was operating out of an integration mindset.
To read more on this, check out Justin’s book, “Living SENT: Discover How Everyday Habits Can Make an Eternal Difference” or subscribe to the podcast.