On Being

We talk a lot, quite a lot actually, these days about what it means to be busy — both with work and life. But how much do we know about what it means to just be? To what end must we drudge on about our lives in hopes of becoming happy and healthy if only we just work hard enough to earn it? And not just in monetary currency do I mean that we work hard, but in social currency as well. It seems like we all came to the same pick-up game looking for a friend or two and what was once for fun has now turned itself into this mass-marketed, fierce competition to see who can gain the most friends. And it disturbs me.

"Be still, and know that I am God." - Psalm 46:10

A relationship is the most valuable gift we can ever expect to have in this life. The chief among these being our relationship with our Great Creator. And what does He express to us through the psalmist? To be still. And just like any great relationship, it's about what you give to it that matters more than what you take. We can overwork ourselves to the point of being absent from the relationship, thereby weakening it, or we can become lazy and miss the blessing that comes from tending to its daily needs and watching it, over time, blossom. There is a great balance that hangs in the air between one person and another. Furthermore, if we find ourselves constantly having to perform to feel accepted/successful then we should see that as the giant red flag it is. I know, because I have a need to please people too. But what greatness, and what heavy burden lifted, is achieved when we just let all that go.

"I live my life in growing orbits which move out over this wondrous world, I am circling around God, around ancient towers and I have been circling for a thousand years. And I still don't know if I am an eagle or a storm or a great song." - Rainer Maria Rilke

Maybe it's uncomfortable to just be. Who can we really blame but ourselves? When it's a fight to find time just to sit in silence. When it's socially more acceptable to always be plugged in and turned on to every distraction. When we give way to artificial systems to create new patterns and ways of communicating without ever questioning our need to do so. I can often relate to what the great poet Rainer Maria Rilke says above. With all these great technological advances swarming around me and an endless amount of information at my disposal, even when I'm sitting still it feels like I'm moving at a million miles an hour without still knowing who I am. But I press on, through the drudgery of life, not basing my identity on what I do but upon who has called me.