Spontaneous: Coming or resulting from a natural impulse or tendency; without effort or premeditation; natural and unconstrained; unplanned.
Spontaneity is crucial to emotional well being? Why? Because spontaneous people respond to their emotions and environment. Instead of stuffing their feelings and running from an opportunity to break out of the mold, they act on a whim. They have fun. Of course, this means they risk causing discomfort in others.
The Dog Played Cards
Viewing others as competitors inhibits spontaneity because we don’t want to appear foolish, lest we give them an edge. I’m reminded of the story of a man who stopped at a country store while driving through West Texas. After paying for a soft drink, he noticed a group of men playing cards with a Great Dane.
“Can that dog play cards?” he asked.
“Yes, he can”
“That’s incredible!” the man exclaimed.
“Not really,” said the clerk.
“What do you mean?”
“When he gets a good hand, he wags his tail.”
We’re afraid if we act spontaneously, we’ll give away our winnings. And we don’t want to do that. But Jesus acted spontaneously. While traveling through Samaria he stopped at a well and spoke with a Samaritan woman (John 4:7-38). While walking into Jericho he had lunch with a tax-collector (Luke 19:1-10). There’s no indication in the text that Jesus preplanned these meetings. Spontaneous acts like these got Jesus into trouble with the religious leaders. Why? Because he didn’t fit into the mold of how a religious leader should speak and act. But that didn’t stop him, did it?
Give it a try this week—do something spontaneous—buy an unexpected gift. Go on an unexpected date. Take a different route to work. Give an outrageous tip to a food server. Be spontaneous!