Acting in life is best configured via a mix of planning and instinct—not in an either/or fashion, but both/and. Instinct is far more powerful and valuable to us the vast majority of the time—though the effects of planning, on its day, are indispensible for success.
The both/and life is the full and abundant life that God came to give us; but it’s not a life crammed to the brim for the sake of keeping up. It is life crammed to the brim based upon purpose—for when purpose is existent the burdensome feeling of ‘work’ is nullified. Work becomes our meaning and our pleasure.
Life is Much Better Lived on Instinct
Here is implied trust. The instinctual person, skilled at what they do and how they act, trusts themselves at the pointy-ended moment, to deliver what is needed. They trust their God-sponsored instinct. They know that ninety percent of the time they’ll survive by getting it right. The rest is apportioned to a strong sense of God’s grace to forgive—the self. Mistakes test the implied trust, merely honing it, as this trust that instinct relies upon is never really in doubt for those believing God.
Instinct has a far better way of knowing the needs of the moment. It isn’t weighed down by chatter of the mind or the baggage of the heart. It sees, perceives and acts—in powerful simplicity. It is clinical as a process with awakened senses as to the emotional and spiritual needs of the time.
When we live instinctually, trusting our intuition—which, of course, must be piqued, we live obedient to the words of Jesus in Matthew 10:19-20, as he spoke to the disciples about not being concerned about what to say or how to say it in the event of their arrest.
God wants us mentally present, not with minds loaded with preconceived plans.
Yet, If/When We Plan...
Planning, however, is still vital in life. There are always times when we’re to be planning.
Planning is our rear guard. It’s the get-out-of-jail-free-card that we have in our back pockets, forever constantly aware of, in the farther recesses of our minds. It is indispensible; but only from the paradoxical view of hindsight.
It has its moment by way of the things of diligence—our ‘down time’ is planning time. We plan every day, even every spare moment. The mind that has God can learn to juggle instinct and planning quite dynamically.
Bringing the Best of Both Planning and Instinct Together
Knowing the place of both is key, and even better, to be able to swap both at the flip of a coin—interchanging modes of action as if they served us, and us alone—for they do. This mind of ours is ours—let us possess it, then, with the Presence and will of God.
Herein lays the key to remaining agile, nimbly initiating and responding in life like a seasoned jewel thief—but always for morally-worthwhile purposes and purposes of intent.
© 2010 S. J. Wickham.