Adventures in Living: The Ten Second Rule

Clare De GraafBeing relatively new at the megachurch we attend, I was surprised to realize that the tall, slender man who stood up to share some information about the memorial service of our former pastor, Ed Dobson, is actually an elder, and that his name is Clare DeGraaf. I had seen Clare many times but had no idea what his name was or that he was the author of the book I was currently reading, called The 10 Second Rule. Lisa lent me The 10 Second Rule well before the Christmas holidays interrupted the normal flow of all things less than critical to sanity and life, and even though it’s a slender volume, it was only in the past week that I’ve been able to finish meditating my way through it.The 10 Second RuleThey say you can’t judge a book by its cover, but you’re safe to do so with this one. In fact, the cover says it all: “Just do the next thing you’re reasonably certain Jesus wants you to do—and do it in the next ten seconds.” Now, if you’re inspired to take Clare up on his challenge, then you’ve no need to read the book, but if you’re saying, “What??” then I definitely recommend reading his book, or at least listening to him share the concept online, which can be found here:

As Clare points out, his message isn’t really original, it’s simply a way of of helping us learn to be more prayerful and more intentional in recognizing and obeying God’s leading in our life. Below are a few of my favorite thoughts from his book and message, as close to true quotes as possible:

“Do not use the 10-second rule for big decisions, like whom you’re going to marry, where you’re going to invest, or whether or not you’re going to adopt a child. The rule is for the ordinary, day-to-day impressions we get from God to be kind to others, to keep ourselves from evil, and to do good every day.”

“One of the occupational hazards of the 10-second rule is occasionally having someone take advantage of you.” (But, we’re not responsible for the actions of other people; we’re only responsible for trying to listen to and obey God.)

“The need for certainty is the enemy of obedience.”
“Nike’s right: ‘Just do it’.”

“The purpose of my life is to make God look good.” (John Piper)

“Don’t just confess your failure. Prepare for the next time.” (You won’t be perfectly obedient, even if you’re trying hard! Look at failure as a catalyst for developing some “pre-decisions,” plans for how to handle the next situation based on God’s wisdom as it applies to your life.)

“There’s an old Chinese proverb that says this, ‘The journey of a thousand miles begins with the next step.’ Perhaps your next step is simply doing the next thing you’re reasonably certain Jesus wants you to do, and then do it again and again and again. And if you do, you will discover the joy and the adventure of following Jesus in a way that you can’t imagine. He will re-ignite that spiritual excitement in you…and if you’ve been in this spiritual gerbil cage…if you’ve lost the joy of your salvation, just do the next thing that you’re reasonably certain God wants you to do.”

Sound like a plan?


6 responses to “Adventures in Living: The Ten Second Rule

  1. Kathi, I hadn’t heard that Ed Dobson had died. Remember him so well from BJ days – especially his “angst” with Ian Paisley. Sorry he had to suffer so much in the end. Susan

    • Yes, he just died December 26. I remember him as about 17 and looking 14, but he was a dynamite preacher even back then!

  2. Charylene Powers

    A friend from church gave us the “10 Second Rule” a few years ago. I think it would be worth reading again – your review is great.

  3. I’m honored by your comments on my book. And yes, my friend Ed Dobson was a great man and lover of both God and people.

    • Thank you for responding. I’ve really appreciated the prompt to “go for it” when I feel the Holy Spirit nudging me. BTW, I went to college with Ed Dobson, so I share your love and respect for him.

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