Saturday, April 2, 2016

"Unlearn to DO, Practice to BE"

I'm starting to appreciate how God speaks to me. By using these dense, heavy topics that give me meat to chew on for days. A lesson that I must reflect on for a time before I can move to the next. And it is only fitting that the current topic has been about BEING. To be fully present.
A couple weeks ago I was trying to decide what devotion I wanted to read. It was still Lent, I wasn't ready to start something long and new. I had a small break with Stephen Ministry prep and
homework. And was still digesting over commitment. So, I grabbed my Mercy and Melons, Praying the Alphabet by Lisa Nichols Hickman and opened it up to the second letter of the alphabet, B.
She talks about how difficult it is to BE in a doing society. How slowing down can cause a sense of panic. Another excuse to add tasks to the To Do list in order to avoid being still. Talk about seamless transition from a lesson just learned about over commitment and answers to prayers to learn simplicity.
I followed her suggestion, I paused and looked around me. I took a deep breath. I listened to the birds and the cars driving past. I felt the warm sun on my arms. I saw beautiful blue sky. It felt good and it felt right. Being present right then, even for just a few seconds, was amazing. Was this how God wanted us to live? Is this what it means to enjoy your life? To pause, take it all in, appreciate the good.
Will this practice help me slow down and notice all the life happening around me? Will a sense of being make me aware of others around me? I do believe so. We are not simply passing through this life. The pain and brokenness may be temporary but this journey is still a gift. This existence is still meant to be enjoyed. He created us to have experiences of joy right now.
Even now, as I reread the devotion, I have a stronger sense of peace as I am reminded to just be. This doesn't mean you stop performing tasks or accomplishing goals and fulfilling responsibilities. Instead it is taking the obligations of life and learning to live in them not just conquer them. It is about experiencing the process.
I have now changed my To Do list into a To Be list. Lisa quotes the poet Angela O'Donnell, " I stay here to please us, Lord, both You and me, where I unlearn to do, while I practice to be." Now, the overwhelming anxiety inducing TO DO list is not so bad. I'd much rather slow down and feel immersed in life as I go about my day.
I'm still not quite sure where all this is heading but I do know that as these lessons come I'm gaining a greater sense of who I am. My pace may be more of the tortoise than the hare but I think I can get used to that if it means enjoying this gift of life more.

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