“You yourselves are our letter, written on our hearts, known and read by everyone.” – 2 Cor. 3:2
Like a lot of people who write, either as a vocation or avocation, much of my time is spent observing, processing, thinking/meditating and making conclusions. Occasionally, the fruit of that winds-up as a blog post. There are times, however, when I don’t want to do any of that; I just want to be.
After successive days of meeting with folks, either individually or in groups, with more to come and all for good reasons, and a snafu with some home improvements my wife and I just made, my introverted inner self is virtually screaming, “Enough! Leave me alone…at least for a while; I need to recharge.” I don’t want to think; I don’t want to evaluate and conclude; and I don’t want to expend any energy reducing things to 500 – 750 words for possible consumption by others. I just want to be. I’ve heard others say that from time-to-time, and asking “What does that mean?” seems fair.
The relationship between being and doing is a little tricky: what we are (being) determines the fruit we bear (doing), and conversely, the nature of what we consistently do influences what we are. Accepting the subjectivity of it all (because we each have our individual lenses, preferences, and inner wiring), I like Paul’s metaphor of being a “letter” available for anyone to read. Whether I speak or not, whether I write or not, I want to be someone “worthy of my calling,” not always seeking readers, but always available to be read.
Still it begs the question, “What’s in my letter?” Centuries ago, Thomas à Kempis (a 15th century monk) wrote a series of devotional thoughts and exhortations that became the well-known book, Imitation of Christ©. One of his prayers has resonated with me so much that I have it in my prayer journal, as a reminder:
Grant me, O Lord, to know what I ought to know,
to love what I ought to love,
to praise what delights Thee most,
to value what is precious in Thy sight,
to hate what is offensive to Thee.
Do not suffer [allow] me to judge according to the sight of my eyes,
nor pass sentence according to the hearing of ignorant men;
but to discern with true judgment between things visible and spiritual,
and above all, always to inquire
what is the good pleasure of Thy will.
Sometimes, I just want to be; I would be content to be this.
© Byron L. Hannon, 2018. All rights reserved for original text content.