Article-26 Dear get-it-done-ers
It's 5:38pm in Northern Michigan, and if you're doing your day right, you've already opened that bottle of Cab, and you'll be sipping along with me as our fall scented candles burn into the evening ahead of us.
This note is geared more towards you DOERS out there. The busy-bodies... like me. You love to-do lists, finishing tasks with excellence, and staying on top of your latest and greatest goals. Ah, you beautifully talented yet challenged bunch of strivers (don't forget I'm in this group with you).
You think you're working yourself towards what I've promised you, but rather, I'M PREPARING you for the good things I've promised you.
A few mornings ago, I was sitting on a stump along the Michigan shoreline... And it was literally just about as exciting as it sounds. I left my phone in the car, brought no journal, no music, no distraction. The only accompaniment was the quad breve latte in my hand, and the crisp fall breeze that reminded me of the coming season change.
For us get-it-done-ers, sitting in silence and stillness is often a challenge, but oh how good it is for you. As I nestled into the curves of the worn out beach log, I let my weeks worth of thoughts swirl around me like the leaves that are falling from the trees with summer's exit. Gradually, they began to drop one by one into a quiet, motionless pile.
In this tranquil stillness, a voice emerged from within me, and ushered me into a conversation.
"You're not supposed to be DOING anything, Anna"
"You're here to breathe. To find yourself. To find Me again. To recalibrate. I need you to stop trying to figure out your life, your career, your relationships. That is not your focus right now. I want you to focus on YOU. Forget the to-do lists, forget the growing your platform, forget growing your finances. I want you to get your health in order, your mind in order, your spirit in order. You feel like I've forgotten all of the good things I've promised you...but Anna, I haven't. You think you're working yourself towards what I've promised you, but rather, I'M PREPARING you for the good things I've promised you. You must learn to stop doing, and start being."
"......." *jaw dropped, eyes wide open.
We kept talking for the next little while, so for the sake of your time I’ll end the conversation there, but God really shook me that morning. And it was pivotal for me to learn that there is such a thing as "loving myself" as a "command" from the Big Man Upstairs; such a thing as "doing nothing" as a part of my task list. For us hard working go-getters, it's difficult to believe that “resting and receiving” can exist in our repertoire, when all we’ve ever learned is that we have to work our behinds off for our successes, acceptance and worth…oh my.
When is the last time you sat with yourself in silence? And let your swirling thoughts slow down? When was the last time you put down the tasks, silenced the phone, and just ...existed, nothing else?
You don’t have to do everything all the time.
When we don’t carve out intentional time to still ourselves, it’s really simple to forget the good things coming for us because we get so busy trying to control the outcomes ourselves. For me, it was forgetting that God was working out the promises of my future. For you, it might be something entirely different, or something utterly simple…such as hope for yourself.
Dear get-it-done-ers, you don’t have to do everything all the time. And as a fellow member of this club, allow me to encourage you that its not a failure to slow down. It’s one of the most important gifts you can grant yourself.
So, when you can muster up the strength to drag yourself to whatever version of a “stump along the shoreline” you have available, do it. Leave all distractions behind, and feel yourself, piece by piece, leaf by leaf, glide through the breeze and land in that calm, collected pile. Don't worry about it, those things will works themselves out in no time, but for now, just breathe...today has enough worries of its own, and the present wants your full attention.