Applying “next sentence” thinking.

I talked yesterday about “next sentence” thinking. But what does it look like to think about what comes next for for every illustration, for every event, for every lesson, for everything that I know captures attention?

Let me invite you into an internal conversations. I’m struggling with next sentence question myself after my trip to Nepal.

It’s easy to say, “it was amazing” when someone asks you about a trip to the other side of the world. Seeing three of the ten tallest peaks in the world, meeting people who live quite well differently than I do, accomplishing a project with people I didn’t know before the trip – that is an amazing trip.

But as I think about the next sentence in my conversations and my life after the trip, I need to spend some time unpacking what was amazing.

Here are some possible answers and sentences that come next.

  • That was an amazing experience. I need to have more amazing experiences.
  • That was an amazing place. I need to go back to that place.
  • That felt amazing. I need to do more things that make me feel like that.
  • Those were amazing people. I need to spend more time with people like that.
  • Those were amazing people. I need to help them keep being amazing.
  • God was amazing. I need to spend more time with God.

Each answer has a different next step. And each answer takes reflection and discernment.

Unfortunately, it’s possible to not consider the next sentence. I can simply go back to my to do list.

  • Trip to Nepal. Check.
  • Next?

And the fullness of our lives makes it very easy to slide back into normalcy after the reflection of Lent and the rollercoaster of Easter weekend.

But let’s not let our next sentence be, “and nothing changed.”

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About Jon Swanson

Social media chaplain. Author of "Lent For Non-Lent People" and "A Great Work: A Conversation With Nehemiah For People (Who Want To Be) Doing Great Works." Writer of 300wordsaday.com. I help people understand. Understand some of the Bible. Understand what Lent can be about. Understand what it means to follow.

One thought on “Applying “next sentence” thinking.

  1. Thanks, you’re helping me focus on something I ponder about our tours, both for me and the folks we touch. “The next sentence” is a great way to conceptualize the dilemma. We don’t want all this to be ruffles and flourishes and afterward, “nothing changed.”

    Got any magic bullets?

    Like

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