Click above to stream Counting the Sand of the Sea from my 10th album Climb to the Sky as you read…
Have you experienced the transforming power of Being before Doing?
In March 2006 our house was robbed. It was the middle of the day. Our son and daughter were at elementary school, and my wife and I were out. A neighbor said they saw a person standing at our front door, who appeared to be soliciting. Instead they were the lookout, while a team of robbers broke in a back window, tore through our house in a few minutes, and stole everything they could find that was small and valuable. My wife and I were wearing our wedding rings, and I was at a meeting with my notebook computer, but otherwise $10,000 of jewelry and cameras — even the money in our kids’ piggy banks — was gone for good. All the sentimental value of each item was lost. Even many years later, this is a painful memory. It took time for me to surrender my anger and frustration to God, and to fully forgive these people.
I believe there is a key element of our lives we can be robbed of every day if we’re not careful. It’s the practice and discipline of “Being before Doing.” It seems like a small thing, but it’s actually huge and has great value. In our “doing” we should not settle for results that are only good or better, when God’s “very best” is available to us. His best outcomes are the “much fruit” Jesus promises in John 15:5 if we abide in Him.
According to Nielsen Research, the average American spends about 11 hours a day staring at a screen. We know we use our screens for work and leisure, but some of our screen time is robbing us of “Being” time. This leads to God’s “much fruit” being stolen from our “Doing” time.
I captured the below photo during a recent family hike in Arches National Park, Utah. We totally unplugged for five days of fall vacation. A few days after getting home, God revealed an entire new song within a few hours, which is much faster than normal. It was one of those “watch this” moments where He demonstrated how after some quality “being” time, He can “do” things very quickly and powerfully. Instead of more striving we need more abiding and being, so God can do the striving and doing for us.
Do you maintain a healthy pattern of “Being Before Doing?” This most likely requires you to unplug from every device, or at least go offline. When was the last time you invested one hour, or maybe even one day or one week, to just “be” and not “do”?
Do you routinely have a clear sense of hearing God’s voice in your life? Of knowing what He wants you to do next? Of knowing when He checks your spirit, and lets you know to wait?
I love Frederick Buechner’s quote, “The place God calls you to is the place where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet.” Ravi Zacharias reminds us there are great needs in the world, but God asks only that we take on our portion.
We all have a special purpose to make a positive difference in the world, to bring hope and healing to people’s lives. However, only God can bear 100% of humanity’s pain and suffering, the ways we judge, compare, hurt or think wrongfully of each other instead of loving, serving, and encouraging one another. Only God has the bandwidth to provide 100% of the hope, healing, and leadership needed to transform our lives and the lives He touches through us.
So what is your portion? Have you unplugged and asked Him? Have you quieted your world, eliminated all distractions, and asked God to help you hear His voice? What He wants you to do next?
Picture me holding up a DSLR camera with a large lens. Let the DSLR camera represent our Being. Now, think of me holding up my phone beside the DSLR camera. Let the phone symbolize our Doing. This word picture has a lot of depth and meaning. Think about how investing in the value of our Being (the high resolution, focus, and magnification) powers the fruitfulness of our Doing (daily tasks, projects, and applications to make a positive difference).
How could you benefit from some “being” time right now?