Human Beings or Human Doings?
As we find ourselves in the whirl of the holidays, are you encouraged? Overwhelmed? Relieved? Stressed? Are you energized, or do you find yourself wondering how you can possibly do all there is to do?
Contentment: Time to relax and enjoy just being. How does being fit in with all of the necessary doing of life? I’ve recently realized that I live most of my days in the mindset of doing: make a list of what needs to be done…do this…do that…hurry here and hurry there…maximize every moment and enrich our lives with so many good things to do. The cost to this kind of thinking and living is often a loss of contentment.
If we are not careful, we can so easily get caught up in evaluating the success of our lives by things that can be measured, like how much work gets done, or how many projects we can complete, or how many activities we can possibly squeeze into this week. This pursuit of more can turn on us and before we know it, we are caught in an overloaded schedule with no breathing room to just be.
Jesus Himself was surrounded by demands on His time, His energy and His resources. There were times when the people were pressing Him for more…more…more…so much that He had to get in a boat to get some space. And yet, at the end of His life on earth He was able to say with confidence, “It is finished!”
Were all of the requests of the people met? No. There were still questions unanswered, and people who were sick and hurting. So how could He rightfully say, “It is finished”? Shouldn’t He have done more?
Jesus was able to do all that His Father called Him to do because that was His only purpose and focus. He did not add in extra expectations, but was content as He kept His Father’s perspective. True contentment will come in the midst of life - whether it is a full day or one of complete relaxation - as we keep our Father’s perspective about our lives. We are here to glorify Him, to grow in relationship with Him, and that begins with learning to just be completely His. To enjoy being in His presence, being filled with His Spirit, accepting that we are complete in Him. The doing will flow out of our being. In fact, Jesus taught us that the water He gives will become a well of water in us springing up to eternal life.
So how can we practically transition from the “doing” mindset to just "being?" It happens when we choose to set our minds on listening to Him give us direction for each step of the day. It happens when we slow down and enjoy His creation. It happens when we make time to take a walk or have lunch with a friend. As we let our Shepherd carry us, we begin to see life from His perspective. He is all about relationship with Him and with others. When these relationships become our priority too, then work and rest fall back into their rightful place as tools that build our lives, rather than taskmasters that govern us. Maybe that’s why we’re not called human doings but human beings.
“But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”
—Jesus, in Matthew 6:33
As we seek to view our day from our Abba's perspective,
how does He direct you to enjoy "being"?