What’s on your list?
Your grades, your place on the team, how popular you are, what kind of car you drive, how many followers you have on Instagram?
You know that list — the one filled with the things we use to describe ourselves, to make us stand out, to remind us we are someone.
Except God isn’t really interested in all that. God is interested in who we are without all that stuff.
God, who favors the lowly over kings. God, who says the last shall be first and the first shall be last. God, who is recognized not by a crown, but by wounded hands and feet.
God, who wants us to add to our lists (and lives) words like love, forgiveness, grace, and honesty.
So, what’s on your list?
Let’s see what God may want to add…
I mean, what do people get for all their hard work and struggles under the sun? All their days are pain, and their work is aggravation; even at night, their hearts don’t find rest. This too is pointless.
What does your schedule look like today?
What fills your hours and days? What’s on your to-do list?
Have you allowed time for rest, for doing nothing?
Probably not. Most of us don’t. Even when we have down time, those times we’re standing in line, waiting for a meeting or class to start, or when we have have open space, we don’t rest. We check our Facebook and Snapchat. We text with friends. We are always doing… something.
Rest is important. Doing nothing is important. Being bored is holy work. Studies tell us these times of boredom, when we rest our minds and souls, are crucial to the creative process. Without rest, we are always on. The writer of Ecclesiastes recognizes that always working, being busy, doing something is submitting to the sin of self-importance, as if the world cannot exist without us being engaged in it constantly.
For this week, rest. Give yourself time to be bored. Resist the temptation to pull out your smartphone when you have downtime. Instead, look around. Be present, even to the boredom. Let your mind wander. Rest.
This is another day, O Lord. I know not what it will bring forth, but make me ready, Lord, for whatever it may be. If I am to stand up, help me to stand bravely. If I am to sit still, help me to sit quietly. If I am to lie low, help me to do it patiently. And if I am to do nothing, let me do it gallantly. Make these words more than words, and give me the Spirit of Jesus. Amen.
From the Book of Common Prayer
The night before Jesus is handed over to his crucifixion and death, he gathers with his friends to share bread and wine. And he reminds them to love.
“I give you a new commandment, that you love one another,” Jesus tells them and us.
Love invites us to seek what matters – our relationship with God – and reminds us we encounter God in all those we meet.
Jesus knew that love isn’t always an easy choice. He lived it. And he believes in us enough to ask us, “Will you love one another?”
And if you will, how will you live that love each moment, day, and choice in your life?