The art of not doing

“Don’t just do something; sit there”. When I first read these words, the struck me as odd. No. You’re supposed to do something. You’re supposed to not be lazy. I you sit down and do nothing then you’re a do nothing. Yeah. That’s what I said. That’s at least how our modern world sees things. If we don’t burn the candle at both ends, if we don’t get up at 6am and come home at 10pm then there’s something wrong with us. We’re not working hard enough or doing enough.

It always has intrigued me when I hear of these parents trying to get their kids to do everything. Now, this is coming form a parent of a 6 year-old and a 3 year-old. The only thing I want my kids to do is clean their room and not pee their pants (respectively–Potty training is harder than it looks or smells). And yet I hear of these students as young as my son being whisked from here to there from this practice to that practice. The TV commercials for cars are even geared for such a thing.

And there are so many demands on our time. Do this church function, go to this basket ball game, attend this school fundraiser, be on this committee, serve on church leadership, cook this amount of cookies, be on the PTA, be a home room parent, be the chauffeur who takes the kids to all these practices. DVR the TV shows you just have to watch cause if you miss a day you miss a lot.

STOP!

Don’t just do something, sit there.

Have you ever sat and listened to the hum of the refrigerator? Have you ever sat outside and heard the birds chirp and the cars go by? Sit down and breathe. Inhale slow steady deep breathes, exhale the same. Imagine you have a ball in your stomach, as you inhale it expands and turns a warm red, filling you. As you exhale, imagine it shrinking and turning a cool blue, calming you.

Now, as you do this, pray “Holy Spirit, fill this place. Holy Spirit guide me to where I am called to God. Heavenly Father, let me seek you, Jesus, Savior, hold my hand and walk with me.” Just sit there and breathe and pray.

And do this for 5 minutes. It’s okay. The world will exist without you for 5 whole minutes. In fact, if you were to disappeared right at this moment (or at least until you finished reading this post and shared it will all your gagillion friends cause it’s just awesome) all will still function without you.

Back in September when I had walking pneumonia I was told to do this. I didn’t. And then when I went to the Bad Lands, I did. I breathed in the air so sweet. And since then, when I can, I sit and breathe.

Not doing is just as important as doing. For my own mental and emotional health, it is just as important. So, how can you not do today?

Books which these are taken from:

Weird: Because Normal isn’t Working by Craige Groschel–a very Christian take on this. It has been helpful in looking at priorities in life.

Wherever You Go, There You Are by John Kabat-Zinn–a bit more Buddhist than my taste but some interesting principles.

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