Are You More Concerned With Being or Doing?

The Power of The Pause

I had a conversation with a friend of mine last night at church.

We were talking about daily schedules and productivity and trying to get things done. I told him I had printed out a calendar and blocked out every minute of my day from 5 a.m. to 9 p.m. There wasn’t one idle minute.

After I finished telling him about it I proudly said, “If I followed this schedule I could get so much done.

I woke up early this morning because I have to be somewhere at 8 a.m. and it’s going to take me at least an hour to drive there.

Now it’s 5:27 a.m.

But as my alarm went off I had this thought: why am I so hardwired to get things done?

A wise person once said: we are human beings not human doings.

That got me thinking about my high school French class and when Madame Carlson taught us to conjugate verbs. I can still hear her voice: Joseph, Je suis means, “I am.”

So I think “Je suis un homme ” means I am a man.

Apologies Madame Carlson, it’s been twenty years and my Francais is un peu rusty.

I AM not I DO

You may recognize “I am” from the book of Exodus. Except there it was written in all capital letters–I AM. The very name of God was so holy the Jews wouldn’t even say it, much less write it down.

The name of God is I AM not I DO.

Now God is certainly a God of doing. He created the Earth and you and me. He created us to work and take care of his creation. He actively holds all things together. He woos us and pursues us.

But God isn’t solely identified by what he does. He’s known for who he is.

I AM.

So if I’m a child of God, created in his image, why am I more concerned with being than doing?

Perhaps I should spend more time concerned with who I am rather than what I do.

The Power of the Pause

It may be the curse of the artist. I have an unrelenting desire to craft, build and create things. I have words in my heart and my head that demand to be released. I feel compelled to shape them and leave my testimony on paper for the world to read. I want my life to have meant something and maybe my frantic attempt to do is a byproduct of this desire.

But it seems to me God is less concerned with what I do and more concerned with who I am.

The I AM created me to be.

He wants me to be more like him.

He wants me to be content.

He wants me to be more concerned with what’s in me than what’s outside of me.

He wants me to be a witness.

He wants me to be connected.
So now I’m wondering how my full schedule helps with this. I’m looking at it right now. It’s on my desk color-coded and blocked out.

There are noble things on the calendar, but there isn’t a lot of time to just be.

Society doesn’t encourage sitting still. It’s may be such a foreign concept to you that you feel guilty when you take a few moments for yourself.

It shouldn’t be this way though. Sometimes God wants you to simply be. I’ve never heard God when I’m rushing from task to task. I only hear him when I pause. Perhaps this is why he speaks to you in those times of quiet with a gentle whisper. He knows that if he shouted we would never pause.

Called To Be, Not To Do

Perhaps Madame Carlson was on to something. Just be, Joseph.

Je suis.

I am. I AM.

The clue is right there in the very name of God.

What if today you made a to be list instead of a to do list?

What would your day look like? What items would you cross off your list? What are you chasing today that won’t matter in five years?

Give it a try and you’ll learn the power of the pause.

The Sound of Dropping Stones

What if Jesus spoke to you today?

Dro

Have you ever watched a movie where a key character dies but leaves a note behind for someone to find?

When the recipient of the note finds it and starts to read, what usually happens?

Usually we hear the author of the note reading it out loud. It can be haunting, but it instantly personalizes the note. The words on the page come to life when spoken by the one who wrote them.

What if you could hear Jesus speak to you through the words in the Bible in this way?

New Guest Post at JackieBledsoe.com

Hey friends!

I know it’s been a while since I posted, but let me assure you that plenty has been happening behind the scenes.  I’m in the process of launching a new site: TheFamilyBuilder.org.

It will be jammed full of tools to help husbands and dads lead their families, strengthen their marriages, and build a worthwhile legacy.

Today I have a guest post with Jackie Bledsoe.  Jackie does a great job helping men lead and love the ones who matter most. You can find his work at JackieBledsoe.com.

He was kind enough to let me publish my post, “Why It Might Be Good To Show Some PDA Around Your Kids.”

Be sure to head over and support Jackie and leave comment and share the article if you like it.

Thanks for your support!

Jesse

I Want To Be Uncompromising

(Sounds strange, doesn't it?)

Uncompromising

Compromise.

It’s such a lovely word, right?  It seems so noble.

Compromise is the art of working together.  We may not agree, but if I take a step towards you and you take a step toward me maybe we could compromise.

This world likes compromise. In fact if you take a stand for something and refuse to compromise you may be labeled as stubborn, intolerant, even bigoted.  Oh my.

So why would anyone want to be known as uncompromising?  In the book I’m reading the answer is on page 1,871.  

GASP! Am I a “Thorny Soil” Kind of Christian?

Do you allow your pursuits to hold you back from God's best?

When I was a kid I grew up with my best friend Todd.  He and I lived just down the street from each other.  My parents had 5 acres of land with a creek running through the middle and a lot of woods for a boy to explore.  Todd’s family had 10 acres of land, a pasture with horses, and best of all it had a swamp. No kidding, all that was missing was Shrek.

Todd and I roamed these fifteen acres of land usually wearing rubber boots and camouflage pants and carrying a bb gun, hatchet, or machete to hack our way through any obstacles we might encounter.  We must have been a formidable sight, although now that I look at the picture below I see that we looked like little old men.

Jess & Todd Kids

Looking back now I realize it was the best kind of childhood you could imagine.

On our treks through the woods we would often find ourselves conquering various types of fauna.  Being from the south kudzu was always present.  We would also find fallen trees, poison oak, vines to hang on, small saplings to chop down, and wild blackberry thickets.

Sticking, stabbing thorns

Worst of all were the saw briars.

Saw briars were thick green vines covered with thorns.  They blended into their surroundings and you usually wouldn’t see them until you felt the prick of the thorns through your pants leg.   Looking down, you would see this invasive weed wrapped around your feet and legs and stopping you from moving forward.

The only was to get free was to stop and gently extricate yourself from the vine and the grip of the thorns.

I bring all this up because a common parable took on new meaning for me.