I've come to realize the idea of 'rest' is hard for me. I literally just don't like to sit down. I much, much prefer to be busy: cleaning, cooking, chopping, planning, gardening, running, moving - doing.
But I've also come to realize how important it is to slow down. To relax enough to really, seriously reflect and connect. Reflect on the big picture, and connect with God and others. This is HUGE for stability and spiritual health, friends. HUGE. I have, mind-you, realized that you can reflect WHILE moving. (For all the crazy A-types out there, there is hope!) I pray while I run and I sing songs to God while I prepare meals. It can be done. (Chuckles)
We in the West - we don't like rest. Or at least, many of us don't. Rest is for the weak. Sleep is even for the weak. What with all the drug-induced ways to stay awake, who even needs sleep?
When we race through life, we're teaching our children to do the same. We so often feel defined by what we do and evaluated by how much we achieve - it feels like it's all about 'doing'.
We sign our kids up for every sport and activity under the sun and forfeit family time to join the kiddie rat race. It's the elephant in the room - the question of, "Who's kid is DOING more?"
Because surely, 'doing' all these things is the precursor to that all-successful life we should strive for and push our kids towards. Right? I wonder if we've become less human BEINGS and more human DOINGS.
We run and fill our 'doing' cups to overflowing but when do we truly concern ourselves with who we ARE? With who our children truly ARE and who are children are going to BECOME?
Not what they do, who they are.
In our little family, we've chosen to step way back from that crazy race. We believe children spend their time best with family and in that glorious space where imagination and creativity can run free. Where Mom and Dad are close at hand and life is experienced together. Where daily activities aren't a competition, but an experience.
See, we want our family to be more
focused on the BEING than the DOING.
The crazy busy days of running from checkmark to checkmark leaves little space for just simply being. When can we slow down long enough to even think? When can our children calm their minds and bodies and connect with each other, with us, with God? When can they look up and look all around and be still in this world?
How can we ask the 'Who am I?' and shape the "Who are they becoming?' when we never stop?
The 'doing' trap is deep and wide. The thrill of the 'busy' life. The addiction of piling up the shopping lists and life 'goals' and wants and want-tos.
And, I know, not all doing is wrong. Of course not. But I'm talking about the kind of doing that is go, go, go, busy all the time and accomplishing very little that actually matters. That actually is going to impact this globe in a powerful way. That is God-driven, love-centered work. That kind of doing, is biblical. Busy-ness for the sake of busy-ness, is not. Busy-ness for the sake of showing off, is not. Busy-ness for the sake of acquiring the next thing, the next thrill, or the next gold star - it's actually called, "A WASTE".
Because life isn't about a piling up of accomplishments. It's about building relationships. Our relationship with Christ Jesus, and relationships with others. It's not a rat-race to the front. It's a bowing low to the very bottom. It's not a stress-filled, "HAVE-TO!", it's a peaceful, "What would God have me do?"
Because, if first we become who God would have us become -the doing will be all laid out. It will be clear and the path, straight. Because who we are in Him will define how we live our days. It will define how we spend our time and yes, what we 'do'.
Training ourselves and training our children to long to BE above longing to DO is not an easy task. Daily prayer and hourly renewal is needed.
Faith, yes, that too.
Courage? Yep. Because you'll be standing apart. Steadfastness, yes - because walking that narrow road is sometimes hard.
We need to have the ability to buck the giant of "what do you do?" and say instead, I will be in Him. What I do is defined by that solemn and profound truth. I am in Christ. And what I 'do' may not look like much to some but that's ok.
Because we need to teach ourselves and teach our children that the BEING precedes the DOING. Just the same way Eucharisteo precedes the miracle.
When we seek who we are to BE in Christ Jesus, everything else falls in place. The doing becomes sacred, meaningful, and often quiet, simple, one-on-one. The building of heartfelt friendships and relationships - the singing of His song in our own unique way.
Imperfectly, off key - but beautiful, authentic.
When we stop long enough to just be in Him, we realize it's actually about our love for Christ above all else. Striving to be like Him and then, do like He did. And if we can, above all else, strive to BE in Him, we will be filled and our lives will flow over with love. Our doing will be for others and for the Kingdom first.
We will BE content.
We will BE connected.
We will BE a life-breather.
We will BE fruitful.
We will BE renewed, restored, refreshed.
We will BE clay in the Master Potter's hand.
We will BECOME exactly who He has called us to be and in turn, He will show us exactly what we are to DO - every day, every moment.
Growing, seeking, learning... right along with you.