When John came home from a walk with our friend Steve and told me that he (Steve) asked him, Are you willing to do less and be more? the question lingered with us for a long time. I even wrote about it in my first book.
“The words stopped me in my dinner-making, clothes-washing, nose-wiping tracks. On the scale of life, these days my doing far outweighs my being. Be more. Do less. It sounds as blissful as it does unrealistic. I hear the mocking voice of reason, the one telling me how the sentiment is nice, but the reality is that things just have to get done.” Grace for the Good Girl, p. 149
It’s been three weeks now since John left his job and we’ve had some uninterrupted family time. We have been doing less. As it turns out this question – Are you willing to do less and be more? – is not a question for your schedule.
It’s a question for your soul.
We spent a night on the side of a mountain and a week on the edge of the sea. But even when my schedule is set on doing less, I still have my soul to consider.
When Steve asked the question those years ago, he was speaking soul language. A slower schedule does not instantly present a still soul. You have to work for that.
I’ve had to ask myself the question again – Are you willing to do less and be more? Not just on the outside, but within?
Are you willing to calm your mind? To wrap your many thoughts around one central thread of truth?
Are you willing to worry less and breathe more? To burrow deep below the folds of anxiety and discover your union with Christ at your center?
Are you willing to set aside the frantic managing of outcomes and instead embrace your position as the loved of God? To choose with your will to be the loved in moments of potential insecurity?
When I honestly answer these questions for myself, I have to admit in some cases the answer is no. I’m not willing.
But I want to be willing. And that is a good place to start.