Judy often says that she is on the right side of doing and the left side of being.
Judy, of course, is my wife of 55 plus years. We’ve developed some short cuts to communication over those years. When I’m reading, studying, reflecting and praying she says I’m working on my “being." When she is busily about her committed tasks for the day, she says she is working on her “doing." As you might expect, her priorities are doing and much of my joy comes from the “being” side.
We all have both components. All of us are in the process of becoming what we will be while we go about doing what needs to be done. Upon reflection, there is more to it than what I’ve just described. Christians are called to be more like Jesus and then to reflect him by doing his work in the world. It seems to me that the more we become, the greater things we will do in His name.
So how does that play out as we move through different stages of life? During my early stages I was just wondering what I was going to do while the "being" part was automatically happening through great teachers at Oakdale Christian School. In the seventh grade I finished as essay with an assigned topic, “Where will I be in 30 years." I’ve still got the essay and re-read it the other day. I was quite clear back then.” I will be serving as a judge with the goal of being on the Supreme Court.”
With fellow Coloradan Neil Gorsuch just appointed to the Supreme Court, these old desires of mine came back to mind. Clearly I’m neither a judge nor have any prospect of serving on the Supreme Court of the land. Yet I can see the strains of that vision playing out in my “becoming” if not in my “doing."
A judge needs to run the courtroom and oversee its administration. A judge needs to understand the issues in front of him and make sure the law is being applied with both fairness and justice. A judge needs to understand and apply the accumulated wisdom, decisions and precedence of what other judges have found before. A judge needs to synthesize the issues and write about them in a clear and compelling manner. A judge needs to be able to justify his conclusions in a winsome manner.
I can’t say I do all those things well, but when I review the daily challenges of running a significant ministry/business organization, sitting with peers deciding future directions for ministries and churches, it certainly requires many of the same skills. Not saying I do them all well, but I am expanding my “being” so the “doing” is better.
I was wondering, what happens when I am at the juxtaposition of “being and doing?" You know, that sweet spot where work isn’t work and it just flows out of who you are? Pondering what it means to “step into God’s preferred future," as our pastor is fond of saying, seems to connect with the issue of “being and doing."
When the “who you are” is disconnected from “what you are doing” there is no happiness, and not much meaning.
Being relieved that you performed well is a long ways from the joy of being in the middle of God’s will and accomplishing his directed task to the best of your ability. The juxtaposition of “love to do” and “needs doing” is at the heart of joyful living. The "love to do" stems from our DNA plus the living experiences God has orchestrated for us. The "needs doing" stems from where we live and the juxtaposition of needy people who respond to our help delivered with love.
I wrote an ebook entitled Live with Meaning. The main point of the book is that without meaning there is little hope, and without hope there is little joy. So finding meaning allows us to experience joy and move towards our preferred future. Our preferred future is shaped by God through our DNA, our circumstances and how we choose to respond to them and God’s whisper to “Follow Me” becoming light to the world and the yeast that extends throughout it.
Stay tuned as we Journey with Trusted Advice along The Way.
Look for that interface between being all you can be and then doing all you can do.