Sunday, September 16, 2012

"Do More" --- err --- I mean, "Do Less!"


Instead of our trying to do more, maybe we should try to do less, to pay attention to the presence of God.

Yaconelli, Michael.  Dangerous Wonder.

Have you ever been scolded for doing too much?  This is usually not the case -- at least in my life it is not the case.  We are usually told that we are not doing enough and this has produced in me a desire to do more.  When we are told that we are not doing enough, we find ourselves frustrated because we are, for one reason or another, not living up to the expectations of others.

I remember when I was hired as the Youth Director at St Luke UMC in Columbus.  I sat down with my senior minister and asked him, "What are your expectations of me?"  I asked this because I wanted to make sure that I did everything that he expected of me.  And, if I had any dream of exceeding his expectations, I needed to know what they were before I could exceed them.

This is not necessarily a bad thing.  We need to know the expectations of our bosses.  We need to know the expectations of our spouses.  Knowing these expectations help us succeed in our work and relationships with others.  However, I feel that this mindset may have bled over in our spiritual life.  The problem for me is not that I understand what God expects of me.  The problem is when I am solely consumed by doing and forget the real presence of God in my every day life.  There are things that God expects of us and these things help us maintain our right relationship with Him.  But how many times have our duties and His expectations drowned out the still small voice of God to the point where all we see is the task list and duties of being a follower of Christ?   Psalm 46:10 reminds the reader to "be still and know" that God is God.

This is a Christian principle that Mike Yaconelli is reminding us.  It is not that he is encouraging us to stop praying and performing acts of mercy and justice.  But rather, he is reminding us not to be overcome with the doing.  Be still, pay less attention to the task list, and recognize the presence of God.  

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