Oppose the Default Mode by Chase Butler
By Chase Butler
MP3 Teaching Download
By Jeremy Lopez
I think we all have default modes we go to when we are tired, bored, angry, or hurt. I remember a time in my life when I intentionally tried to do whatever the opposite of my first inclination was, even with unimportant, simple things.
Once it was raining when I pulled up at my apartment, so instead of running in I stood there and got soaked. You don't realize how relaxing an outdoor shower is until you aren't running to escape it or complaining about getting wet.
Another night I was tired but a meteor shower was coming through, so I stayed up and drove an hour in search of clear skies. To be honest, I never saw a single meteor but I enjoyed the late night search much more than going home to watch Netflix.
As I opposed the default mode I found a deeper sense of adventure and joy.
Recently I made a connection with this principle when I encountered grace being shown in a situation where bitterness would have been justified by the world's standards. The opposite display of concern and love encouraged and motivated me immediately.
You open yourself up to a different world when you oppose the default mode, not just with how you navigate your day-to-day but with how you navigate your heart and the hearts of others.
So when you feel entitled to condemn, show grace. When you feel justified to complain, be understanding. When you feel sad, choose to be grateful. You'll start to sense a shift not only in your perspective but how you're influencing the world around you.
Start simple. Take the long way home. Don't get frustrated when your order is wrong. Make the call you've been putting off. Ask a random person how they are. Just go against the easy, default mode and be pleasantly surprised when life is suddenly engaging again.
Do you know those phone calls you dread to receive? The person on the other end tells you your worst fear has come true, your loved one has passed, your company is shutting the doors. A pit opens in your stomach, and you feel yourself falling into the black hole of despair. I will never forget one of the stupidest things I did as a teenager that resulted in my parents receiving one of those phone calls. "Mr. Butler, this is the Hoover Police [long, unnecessary pause for dramatic effect]. I have your son, Chase, here with me now."
I tend to write three types of blogs. One, I fulfill my weekly commitment and offer an observation and lesson. Two, I actually hit a nerve but make sure the points are general enough to not be too personal. Three, I cut right to the core with less regard to social expectations. The third normally stays saved in the drafts. I know this about myself because I have an iPhone full of notes I've never shared. Many get deleted. Few get posted. Why? Because I'm afraid if I post the ones I wrote therapeutically, with no regards to audience or perception, it would be too much. It would fall outside the bounds of what you expect.
When I was little I told my parents I wanted to be a "chireman." I couldn't say "fireman" at the time, but that wasn't going to stop me from saving people from burning buildings. Then it was Batman. Then it was a full-time musician. I'm none of those things now (though I'm still working on the Batman part), and that's totally okay. It's okay that you aren't doing what you dreamed you would be doing.