Just Being

Posted by on Aug 17, 2015 in Uncategorized | 56 comments

Not so long ago, I was in one part of the house while my husband was relaxing in his chair looking at something on his iPhone.

Suddenly,  out of the corner of my eye,  I saw a spider racing up the wall.  I let out an involuntary scream followed by an urgent call to my husband, “Honey – You need to kill this spider”.   (I have made it clear that in our home – this is his job and his job alone).   My husband just sat there totally engrossed in reading.  With more urgency I demanded, “Honey, don’t just sit there.  You need to move quickly.  This spider is fast.”

Don’t just sit there, do something…..Sometimes, I feel like life is shouting that phrase at me .  There  are pressing, dire circumstances all around.  Things that need to be done – important things.  I should be acting and  moving quickly to address what is needed.

Exhausted at the end of the day,  I’m often more aware of what is undone than what is done in the urgency of it all.  And that adds pressure to my life in itself.

It’s true – there are things that need to be done.  We can’t be like that child I observed at an amusement park who after a long day of walking,  just sat down on the sidewalk  and folded her arms.  No amount of persuasion or tugging on her arm could get her to budge.  Much to her parent’s frustration she was spent  AND  determined to avoid taking  another step.   Though we may fantasize about such a response to the pressure in our lives, few of us indulge because the consequences would be dire.

And yet – somehow we must  find a place in our lives where we can just BE rather than DO.   It is something we all long for, in some ways;  yet in other ways we resist it.  The truth is we can be unconsciously terrified of being alone with ourselves.

This is especially true for leaders.  The activities and experiences associated with leadership can be very addicting.  The idea that I can DO something about a need feeds something in me.  It feeds my ego.   The most competent and productive people have the biggest challenge.  They can look at a need with the acute awareness that they are perfectly able to address that need with competence and quality.  And if that is true – then why not?  I see a need.  I can definitely do something about that need.  Why wouldn’t I?

Why not indeed?  Just because I CAN do something SHOULD I?  The problem is this:  that kind of approach will always lead to more activity.  I will lead to more doing and less being and that is where the problem arises.

Don’t Just do Something, Sit There

A cartoon found in New Yorker magazine depicts two monks are sitting side by side, meditating.  The younger one is giving the older one a quizzical look, to which the older one responds, “Nothing happens next.  This is it.”

Something that  happens when we stop and wait in the moment.   Things begin to settle – kind of like muddy water swirling in a glass – eventually the sediment settles to the bottom and the water becomes clear at the top so we can see what’s actually in there.

Isaiah 40:31 articulates:  “But those who wait upon God get fresh strength.    They spread their wings and soar like eagles.  They run and don’t get tired,   they walk and don’t lag behind.”  Sometimes waiting IS the next thing.  It is the necessary thing in order to manage our strength and resources to their maximum capacity.

When we wait in His presence, we begin to see God’s hand moving around us.  We begin to become more aware of his presence.  We find moments of healing and clarity to the chaos in our souls.

I don’t know where you are in  life at this moment.   Maybe circumstances don’t allow for long periods of uninterrupted solitude.  It’s just that kind of season for you.   However, there is something to be said about just taking a moment to breathe.  Escaping for just a moment – to focus on the moment and to insert God into that moment.

Take a moment to pay attention to what God is doing in the present – in your heart, in your life, in others around you.  This doesn’t mean we necessarily understand what God is doing  – it is more about acknowledging that He IS present and active and choosing to place our trust in that knowledge.

Become aware of the moment – what you are feeling, what you are seeing in others – not as a destination but in the moment.    This is our main task – before anything else; after anything else; above all we want to accomplish and get done – our job is to connect with God in a meaningful way and to seek awareness of His presence in the moment.

Matthew 6:34 – “Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don’t get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes.”



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