“Anybody doing anything tonight?”
It’s a phrase we frequently use when we’re bored. Or maybe we’re just looking for something to do. Something to entertain us. Or we need some people to hang out with.
Why do we always have to be with someone? Why do we always have to be doing something? Well… I suppose by the nature of being human we are always doing something – eating, sleeping, sitting, playing. But we fail to recognize that “doing nothing” is actually doing something – for good or bad.
I walked into my home yesterday evening after a day of working with MVNU students doing some home repair work for a family in our community. There were well over 30 different people in and out of the home where we were working. Hammers were banging. Circular saws were screaming. Drills were… drilling. Though it was quite fulfilling to be actively engaged in serving a family who needed a little help, the silence I encountered upon arriving home was beautiful. I needed to sit and think. I needed to decompress. I needed to do nothing.
As I was installing some electrical wiring with a friend earlier that day we were talking about the home makeover project and the students who initiated it. In the midst of our discussion my friend stated, “It just makes sense. This is what the church should be doing.” Simultaneously we looked at each other and said, “All the time.” I realized once I got home that the statement was a bit hyperbolic. I needed the silence. I needed solitude for meditation and prayer. I needed to rest in the presence of God – Alone. Quiet. Listening. Thinking.
We can default to either extreme – doing something all the time or doing nothing. Do you find yourself doing nothing? It could be that in the moments of doing nothing you really are doing nothing – nothing but sitting around hoping to be entertained or complaining about the church doing nothing. Or you could really be doing nothing as a healthy form of Sabbath and rest.
How do we go about doing something while still doing nothing? How do we avoid doing nothing in order to actually do something?