“Do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus.” Col 3:17 NIV
Research shows that the best moments of our lives don’t come from leisure or pleasure. They come when you’re immersed in a significant task that’s challenging, yet matches up well to your highest abilities. In those moments, you’re so caught up in an activity that time somehow seems to be altered; your attention is fully focused without your having to work at it. You’re deeply aware, without being self-conscious; you’re being stretched and challenged, but without a sense of stress or worry. You have a sense of engagement or oneness with what you are doing. This condition is called “flow,” because people experiencing it often use the metaphor of feeling swept up by something outside themselves. Studies have been done over the past thirty years with hundreds of thousands of subjects, to explore this phenomenon of flow. Ironically, you experience it more in your work than you do in your leisure time. In fact, your flow is at its lowest ebb when you’ve nothing to do. Sitting around doesn’t produce flow. This picture of flow is actually a description of what the exercise of dominion was intended to look like. God says in Genesis that we’re to “rule” over the earth, or exercise “dominion” (Ge 1:26, 28). We often think of these words in terms of “dominating” or “bossing around.” But the true idea behind them is that you’re to invest your abilities to create value on the earth, to plant and build and write and organize and heal and invent ways that bless people and cause God’s kingdom on earth to flourish.