3 Nov

My confession is that I think I owe you an amendment from yesterday’s post.

The end line read: ” How much more can I do when I stop believing in the lie of perfection apart from Christ?”

While there isn’t anything inherently wrong with that statement, it needs an asterisk. One of *these.

The problem with it is that you are so much more than what you can DO or accomplish.

Let me say that again, in case you still believe that a kitchen that lacks a dirty dish, perfectly behaved children or a Master’s degree defines who you are:

You are so much more than what you can DO or accomplish.

Part of my problem is trying too hard to DO and not hard enough to BE. I know that’s one of those cliche sorts of things that are said at women’s retreats and before we all go walk a labrynth and hold hands and talk about Thomas Merton. Look, I know. But it’s true.


(Reminder to myself and others like me: all your DOING, apart from Christ is dust. Quit worrying so much, Control Freak. Quit the illusion that you are a god. The Unwinnable Contest is painfully and destructively concieved in that place.)

There will be pulls in many directions, perhaps more than what you even realized. But here is the secret….I think. I’m not sure. But I think this is it.

We too often talk about the “being” as if that means “being alone” or sometimes “being alone with God”. And while I think these are important things, I also see a strong Scriptural argument for “being”…with each other, in community.

But instead, we are busy DOING in community. Rush here. Schedule there. Plan this. Have dinner with these people. Remember to talk about this with so-and-so. It’s a rare moment of beauty when we allow ourselves to just BE in the presence of another human, despite our flaws, instead of trying to prove something to that person and to ourselves. It’s rare because it’s risky. It makes us vulnerable. It’s scary. (I don’t like to admit fear, though I fear more often that I think I’m even aware of.)

I don’t know how to do this NOT DOING very well yet. As evidenced by my post yesterday, I am very good at keeping up with the “doing”. The “being” doesn’t come as naturally or as comfortably for me. (I wonder if that is true for other women? Or men as well?) And I can easily do “The Freeze” (you know – the one that happens when you get overwhelmed and do nothing, but you justify it by saying you’re meditating, when you’re really just looking up mindless celebrity gossip?). Yeah, that’s not what I mean by the NOT DOING.

This NOT DOING is intentional, whether alone or with each other, for the sake of renewal and growth and rest.

But I guess this is a good place to start to practice this “being” while not insisting on doing it perfectly first.

(See what I did there?)

This weekend, I will intentionally practice the presence of others, *being* with them, to the Glory of God. Even at the risk of doing it imperfectly. May grace abound all the more.



5 Responses to “*Asterisk”

  1. thelivingroom November 3, 2010 at 11:47 pm #

    This is something I’ve been pondering and praying through as well, but you put it better. 😉 Thanks for this, Mic.

  2. scott November 4, 2010 at 7:22 am #

    Hardest Scripture for me is Psalm 46:10 – Be Still and Know that I Am God.
    Another good post, Mic.

  3. Bess November 4, 2010 at 4:31 pm #

    In your usual amusing way…you hit on something that I have been thinking about lately. I don’t like just BEING. It’s really hard! But, it’s a good reminder for days like today. Especially when I know I’m not doing all that I’m doing for God’s glory. I have suspect that I have someone else in mind.

  4. Miguel November 4, 2010 at 6:08 pm #

    This is a good reflection. It got me thinking.
    There is that “being” that is the functional. And then there is that “being” which is a state. The state of being.
    And everything you said is a huge thing. And the challenging thing that you being up has to do with the inseperability of the function and the state of being. Integrating this kind of mindfulness with our action…..knowing that we are not the sum of our doing….in the midst of our doing, remembering that we simply “are wonderful” is complete serenity and rest in the eternal now.

  5. girlsarenotfunny December 7, 2011 at 11:24 pm #

    Okay, you’re right. We are best friends.

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