Doing Versus Being
Have you ever found yourself lost and don’t have a GPS or a map? How did you respond?
Quite often we drive frantically around in circles, hoping for a familiar landmark or road sign. If all fails, we stop and ask for directions.
In his book do less, be more, Christian author John Busacker writes, “Humans…are the only animals that speed up when lost.”
Last year I was frustrated and couldn’t find my way back to a manageable writing schedule. I’d lost my focus and didn’t know how to get it back. I prayed but didn’t hear an answer. I knew it would be “yes,” “no,” or “I’ll get back to you,” but the waiting drove me crazy. Meanwhile, my writing was on hold because it seemed every social media platform I used had changed everything all at the same time.
My thoughts were racing around in my head and I was spinning social media plates, frantic that one would smash to smithereens and leave me without income. I spent so many hours searching for better ways to market what I’d written that I didn’t write anything new. I took courses on writing better which left me without time to put what I’d learned into practice. I neglected myself, my writing and my family trying to keep up and I was exhausted.
I was doing but not being.
That’s when my intuitive daughter sent me the book.
We All Need to Feel Called
The apparent silence from God made me take stock of my life as a whole. I knew it wasn’t just about me—my life is His. And I knew He wasn’t the reason for the distance between us–I was. I was no longer on the path He’d chosen for me. He’s my GPS and I wasn’t listening to His directions. I decided to start back at the beginning when I first began writing with specific intent. After all, that’s how we’re all made—in God’s image—on purpose with a specific purpose. (I used to lead a class on finding our calling!)
What Jesus Told His Closest Friends to Do When They Worried
“Then Jesus said to his disciples: ‘Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear. For life is more than food, and the body more than clothes. Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds!’” (Luke 12:22-24 NIV).
“Do not worry”. Jesus said that. It wasn’t a suggestion. It was a command to do not. I was disobedient in my work effort. No wonder I was speeding down dusty roads getting nowhere. You know the old sayings, “Let go and let God” and “Jesus take the wheel”?
Less is More
What we are told to do is live our purpose here to fulfill God’s purpose for all His children, using the specific gifts He gave us. Our natural talents and learned skills as writers help us do that and our personalities and experiences show through in our work. He made us. We don’t need to do a whole lot except what God lays on our hearts. I have no control over how algorithms and social media work but I do have control over how I write and live as a believer.
John Busacker goes on to explain how we need to do less of the peripheral tasks in order to be more of who we are uniquely called to be.
Being more focused is less confusing and frustrating. I needed to do less in order to be more.
What I Learned from This
Do less social media.
Do fewer courses that don’t align with my calling.
Do less reading of non-fiction books that don’t align with my faith and drag me down rabbit holes.
Do less viewing of time-sucking videos (except the cat ones, of course—those are for mental health).
Do less watching of movies, TV shows, and news that make me anxious—especially in these Covid times.
Be more attentive as a listener.
Be more engaged in my writing community.
Be more encouraging to fellow writers—write a review, give a “like” or share something online.
Be more thankful for those in my life and handwrite a card or note of gratitude.
Be more focused on what God calls me to write and not the latest influencer.
“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will” (Romans 12:2 NIV).
Do not conform—be transformed. All I needed was a simple but challenging shift in gears to get me back on the right road. This year my schedule is much lighter and so is my burden.
If you haven’t taken the Spiritual Gifts Questionnaire recently, your church may have some copies on hand or you can do the questionnaire on my blog at LynneCollier.com