Sunday, March 11, 2007

a gift of great value

On certain days, I am moving along nicely. Doing the things that ought to be done. Doing things that are nice to do. Doing. And then I suddenly hit a hollow spot; it is as if I pushed through the invisible bubble that is the edge of a black hole’s event horizon. I am suddenly suspended in a place where I float in a certain knowledge that it is all meaningless. It is an ugly place because I am stuck on that horizon sucked in that awful suspension of time and meaning with not the strength to resist its gravity.

My reaction is to push. To push into a manic mode of moving – doing – activity – trying to withdraw emotionally from that edge. I am not pleasant to live with me when stuck on that even horizon because I am directionless and preoccupied. My focus gone; I don’t sit still. And that is when the existentialist reality seems plausible. I am just a rat running circles on a wheel in that empty cage – it means little unless I want it too.

Do you see the before and after theme? Summed up in one word: doing. My life defines doing as the activity of pushing against rest, which can be interpreted a movement against the simplest state of being. I am not much into being – my strength is in doing.

I am glad the Bible isn’t all about being. I might find myself on the other side of the door so busy doing that I never hear the knock that invites me to be His. I am glad He invites, even commands us into the work of doing His will. But sometimes I am so busy doing the right things; the things that ought to be done that I forget to sit as His feet like Mary to listen and to be.

Mary offered Him a gift of great value – she broke that bottle of perfume and she anointed Him. Is there any anointing in my doing? I am sitting at His feet? Am I listening? Today our minister talked of what our gifts of great value might be. In some things he said, I found a bit of myself but I am not sure. Perhaps, like Mary, I need to spend more time at His feet listening. Perhaps after I’ve filled myself with Him, I will discover what my gift of great value will be.


  1. Yes, I get the bit about "doing". Resting, or being is harder. It feels like it lacks progress, yet it can be so invaluable.

  2. Your post reflects much more eloquently my recent post, except I like the not-doing, not really being either since whatever I am not doing must get done. Either way I have been fighting against the black hole of meaninglessness as well ... and I hadn't thought about the seeking Him part, the listening, the being. Perhaps that adds more weight to my dissatisfaction than just being bored.


  3. I think that hollow spot is a gift if you can only accept it: a signal that life is rhythmic, and at points in the cycle we need to slow down and reflect.

    And the scary bit (what's making you speed up and get manic, I dare say) is what the reflection will bring. I suspect what we most fear is that reflection will confirm "it is all meaningless", but we need to risk that.

    I like the phrase "We are human beings, not human doings". I find it helps me sometimes to remember that.

  4. You're reading my mind. Wonderful post and you say it so clearly.

    Btw, I wanted to say 'well-done' on your photos you posted last week. We're on dial-up and it's life in quicksand sometimes. I kept getting kicked off line and couldn't comment to you, though I really wanted to. As always, your photos are 'choice'!

  5. Oh wow, this has to be my favorite images of yours Me, and with all the ones of yours I love that's really saying something. Would definitely love to post this at some point if you are okay with it. And if you are ever printing/selling it, i would really love to buy this as a print at some point. Either that or barter, but i'm not so talented-crafty like you, so that's why i never mentioned that before. The only things creative i do are writing, a wee bit of scrapbooking (nothing fancy), and my beginner's cooking. But its occuring to me maybe we could do something with that perhaps sometimes if you were interested? Any homemade baked goodies you really love by chance?

    Onto what you said in the post, i'd echo Tess (she said it so beautifully) and also add that...

    Maybe its similar to what i feel sometimes about the Sabbath--i love keeping Shabbat and Sabbath, and really cling to the whole area of rest in general too, but still...sometimes I can still find myself resisting the stopping the doing because that means stopping the illusion that we are in control.

    Thank you for this image and post Me, it feels to come from such a deep place...

    Blessed Week <>< Wendy

  6. Hi Again Me, I found your post has kind of stayed with me. The thing is, I'm a very introverted person, not a high outward-energy extrovert, so restfulness and quietness is often my more natural state to begin with. So its really got me thinking...if someone even like me can sometimes find it hard to stop the doing, i can only imagine what it must be like for the higher outward-energy extroverts among us...

    So its slowly helping me have more compassion there. Because normally I tend to get defensive when folks push the doing, because often under what they say is a judgement of those who are quieter souls, which i get deeply offended by. But you are not coming from that place of judgement at all really, which is probably why your post moved something in me.

    Anyway, just thougt i'd share the impact of your lovely post...

    Blessed Week <>< Wendy

  7. A lot to think about here. Thanks for this post.

  8. much food for thought. thank you for your honesty. the photo is very compelling! thank you.