Some kid mutters it to his kid sister like a filing to the complaint department: “You are not the boss of me.”
He’s got the last of the peanut butter cookies in his hand, like a defiant declaration.
Peanut butter cookie crumbs trail across the counter.
You can still feel the warmth of the oven across the kitchen.
A three wick candle flames by my Bible on the prayer table, light flickering up the wall like an open invitation to the other side of prayer.
Oh, kid — it’s okay.
Eat the cookie. Eat the cookie slow and taste it all the way down and smile in the moment and just be.
Because don’t we know it — the world can feel loud, like it’s bossing you, like everybody’s telling to you to care about this, stop doing that, fight for this, argue that, get on this soapbox, act now, do this, do that — do, do, do.
Can drive a kid to devour the last of the peanut butter cookies. Can drive a woman to let the rest of the world be driven for today while she takes a long moment to inhale and just be.
Can drive you to take your own country road that takes you home, and lets you listen to the sound of gravel under the fenders, and inhale the humble scent of leaves and cows and country in the air, and follow the road that leads to the work of quiet people, and harvest gardens, and oversized pumpkin pies.
Sometimes the most revolutionary thing that you can do is simply turn away just for a moment from doing — and make space for being.
Because the thing is: your doing-time is only as robust as your being-time.
Because the question may not be as much how are we wasting time, but the greater question is: how are we wasting our life?
The candle at the prayer table dances up the wall to a quiet and confident rhythm all of its own.
Maybe we don’t waste our lives only when we revive by hushing time and making time to Be?We can only start doing church when we are first about being the church. Being present, being beloved, being still.
When the pie comes out of the oven after the cookies, it murmurs fragrant apple and cinnamon steam through willing givings in the crust. It sings autumn on counters of peanut butter cookie crumbs. Maybe the world only contains three things that can never be destroyed — God and being and love.
There’s this greying light in the trees at the edge of the wheat stubble field. There’s this too: that we can more passionate about causes than we are about Christ because our significance is coming from championing these causes — instead of being found in Christ.
Sure — the world says you are what you do. But the Word says you are Whose you are. And what we do ultimately flows out of who & Whose we are.
So our Being must have precedence over our Doing — because it’s our Being that will ultimately express itself in our Doing.
Maybe that’s it — there’s this Performance Christianity, performing to be seen, to find meaning and secure identity and earn approval, that’s forced out of the will and combusts in scarring burn-out.
But there’s this Present Christianity, simply being present to Christ, that makes our life unfold like a gift back — a gift that far surpasses any of the work willed out of Performance Christianity.
Because Present Christianity is fuelled by giving Love — and Performance Christianity is fuelled by getting accepted.
Life finds this steadying balance when we focus on Present Christianity instead of Performance Christianity — being present to His love in this moment, to God in the moment — instead of focusing on how to perform for God in this moment.
When did we start defining ourselves in terms of efficiency instead of intimacy?
When did the purpose of time become so confused? Is the purpose of time mostly about getting big results — or giving big to relationships? When did life become more about Getting Things Done instead of always Being Present to God?
Instead of worshiping our work, working at our play, and playing at our worship — what if all our work, all our play, and all our days, simply became all our worship to God?
When we are about always Being Present to God — that is the ultimate, beautiful fuel for Getting Things Done.
Sometimes it rings in me like a church bell calling to come, and come again: Activity for God is not the same as intimacy with God.
The pie tastes like summer thickened into gold. Yeah, sure we’ll get to the stacks of dishes and the building lava heaps of laundry that keeps growing out of the floors — but right now?
Right now, that’s all I can think: Life becomes profoundly rich when we define ourselves by intimacy instead of productivity.
A boy throws his arm around my neck as he savours the last of his piece. He feels like a draping of grace. His kid sister across the table grins like she swallowed something better than a canary — a dollop of whip cream! She laughs! Sprinkled freckles all across her nose! Like confetti over joy!The art of being human — means you’re more about being than doing.
And the internet is not the boss of anyone, nor agendas or to-do lists or all the loud demanding All of The Attention — there is a good and needed time for that — and that Doing-Time will come after and only because of and out of the Being-Time.
I once told that boy of ours: Any dead fish can go with the flow — you have to be intentionally alive to swim against the current.
After that flicker bird at the top of the oldest apple tree in the orchard sits still for what seems like hours…
… after we eat the last of the pie crumbs, and watch from the window, watch the flicker rest amongst the yellowing leaves, you can see it —
how, when it’s time, the flicker flashes and unfolds and unfurls and takes to the sky—
how it becomes the most alive only after being the most still.