To read all the posts in the 31 Days series, click here.
There’s a challenge to doing 31 days of writing when your subject matter is being. Because you have to write and produce and post something all of the days, which creates a mentality of DO.
And suddenly, seven days later you realize you haven’t spent as much time being as you had hoped.
So you take a break — a pause, really — and notice the leaves have changed from a greeny-yellow to a yellowy-orange. And you inhale deeply the air that is no longer 70-degrees warm, but is finally 60-degrees warm. And you soak in your quiet time purely for the joy of it, not to find material to write about or podcast about or blog about.
It’s hard to run the treadmill at 65 miles per hour. Sweating and counting off the minutes and crossing off to-do’s and making new reminders and noting all of the things that need to be taken care of.
They need to be taken care of. They really, really do.
It’s a lot harder to stop the treadmill. Why is it so much harder to stop? It feels like trying to stop a locomotive with one arm — it’s barreling down the track on a mission of madness right at me, lights shining and whistle blaring, and I’m just staring at it steely-eyed and face like flint, one arm out and saying, no.
But when I muster up the strength (or rather, fed-up-ness) to brazenly throw out my arm and stare it down, something miraculous happens:
The locomotive stops.
It always stops.
It comes screeching to a halt and is within inches of whisking me underneath it, but it does stop.
And I brush the dirt and grime off my arms, nod firmly, and walk away. Walk away, not run, and go find myself a mountain. Or a hill. Or a ridge — someplace with perspective. And I inhale that turning-crisp air and take notice of the leaves, and BE.
And after I’ve had my fill — sometimes it’s just moments and sometimes it stretches longer — I stand up and stretch, and walk (not run) back to the treadmill and begin a slow jog once again. And this time, I have the strength and courage to slow down the speed and jog with purpose and control, because I was first and did second.
I’m committed to my To Do’s — they are good things and God things that I know are my priorities and callings for today. But I’m trying to become more committed to my To Be’s: my Be Stills, Be Frees, Be Contents. That’s the list that’s growing longer than my To Do list — the list that has more eternal value. And I want to have more of those crossed off than To Do’s these days. (tweet)
I’m still trying to figure out what it looks like to BE. Some days I get it right, but mostly it’s just hard. But I’m committed to trying…to staying focused and reminding myself hourly to BE. And I’m learning that the struggle — the tension — is where the growth happens. Where (hopefully) my wings will fly with more strength and purpose after wrestling their way out of this cocoon.