Four words that changed my perspective

Years ago, after finishing my time on tour with the African Children’s Choir, a fellow chaperone and I went to see a pastor/counselor. She specialized in helping missionaries who were returning from the field. My friend and I were having trouble transitioning back into “real life” and really needed someone to listen.

She did listen, and she offered much advice to our tender souls. A lot of what she spoke that day is a blur, but I distinctly remember four words.

Don’t do. Just be.

She was speaking specifically about our quiet time. We shared how it felt we were just going through the motions by reading our Bible and praying. Nothing we did really seemed to work. Nothing clicked.

So she told us to stop doing. Like a little child that just wants to sit in Daddy’s lap, we just needed to relish in God’s presence. Stop trying to pray the prayer that makes us “connect.” Stop searching for the Bible verse that will make it all better. Just sit. Be.

I have a hard time with that. I’ve shared before how I have a hard time sitting still and being quiet. But the times when I really do stop doing and just be, it’s amazing the difference it makes.

I’m trying to implement that back into my quiet time again, because I’ve been trying to “do” stuff again. I’m searching again for the magic Bible verses. I get upset when I’m not “feeling” worshipful.

It’s a constant struggle, but I will strive to just be.

Question: Do you struggle with trying to be?

9 Replies to “Four words that changed my perspective”

  1. Absolutely. And sure, there are some Do’s in the Bible, but there are some Be’s. Be still. Be holy. Do those two and then sprinkle in some Do will work out well, I think.

  2. I know I can not trust my feelings. Sometimes I do go through the doing because I know it is good for me even I don’t feel anything or worse feel alienated. I know the importance of also just trying to listen, trying to be still and understand more about God.

  3. When I am struggling with “trying to be” I take a deep breath and remember that God is the one who created my restless and questioning mind. I try to remember that my brain is a wonderful part of my “whole self” and that God wouldn’t want me to be afraid of the questions, thoughts and feelings that are a normal part of being human. It is heartwarming to read stories from others who are struggling too. Jamie, thank you for having the courage to share your journey with us.

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