1. Not all Best Yes decisions are predetermined or require saying yes or no to someone’s request. In fact, many times a Best Yes decision flows out of simply being present and saying yes to God in an ordinary moment. To get an idea of what this looks like in everyday life, re-read the personal story that Lysa shares on pages 168-170.
By being fully present – to herself, to what was happening, and to God – Lysa was able to transition a desperate feeling into a Best Yes. We can’t plan for spontaneous decisions, but we can practice paying attention and get better at recognizing Best Yes opportunities when they come. One way to do this is to look back on the day before and search for any hidden treasures – opportunities we may have had to say a Best Yes but missed because we weren’t paying attention to what was in front of us.
Think of the last twenty-four hours: morning, afternoon and evening. For each time throughout the day, identify one hidden treasure. Consider especially inconveniences, interruptions, or anything that messed with your routine your plans. Note what kept you from paying attention to the experience as a potential Best Yes opportunity. Then do a little brainstorming on how you might transition a similar opportunity into a Best Yes next time.
Briefly review your responses. What stands out to you about the kinds of things that kept you from paying attention and being fully present?
2. When we are fully present we focus our awareness on the here and now. But that can be hard to do when we feel rushed or overwhelmed. Author and pastor John Ortberg describes hurry as one of the greatest threats to our ability to be present:
“being hurried is an inner condition, a condition of the soul. It means to be so preoccupied with myself and my life that I am unable to be fully present with God, with myself, and with other people. I am unable to occupy this present moment….I cannot live in the kingdom of God with a hurried soul.
To what degree was hurry a factor in the situations you listed? How did it keep you from being fully present to God, to yourself, and to other people?
3. We will see our Best Yes answers most clearly when we are fully present, paying attention, seeing what we need to see, and willing to extend God’s love in the moment. We have a beautiful picture of how Jesus did this when He healed a suffering woman. Read the story, including some background, in Mark 5:21-34, and then respond to the following questions.
What circumstances might reasonably have caused Jesus to be hurried and kept Him from being fully present to the woman?
How specifically did Jesus remain present, pay attention, see what He needed to see, and extend God’s love in the moment?
The first thing Jesus did after the woman touched Him was to stop what He was doing; even with a life-and-death situation on His agenda, He allowed Himself to be interrupted by the situation right in front of Him. The pressure of the crowd and the items on His to-do list didn’t keep Him from attending to God’s assignment for Him in the moment.
Overall, how would you describe your willingness to be interrupted? What is your typical reaction when you encounter an inconvenience or something that messes with your agenda or routine?
If you think of interruptions and inconveniences as God’s invitation to stop what you are doing and pay attention, what divine invitations do you see hidden in the situations you wrote down earlier.
4. Read Proverbs 4:25-26, which includes an encouragement to “look straight ahead, and fix your eyes on what lies before you” (NLT). Use the passage as a reference for writing your own prayer. Ask God to give you a heart’s that’s willing to be interrupted. Seek His guidance to help you stop, pay attention, see what you need to see, and respond in love. Thank Him in advance for the divine invitations He will bring your way.
Terkeurst, Lysa. The Best Yes Study Guide. Pgs 145-151