We are most likely familiar with the Shakespearean masterpiece, Hamlet, that begins with the famous words: “To be, or not to be; that is the question.” That phrase comes to mind as we discern and pray through God’s unique initiatives in our lives. We inquire of the Lord how much shall we “be”…and how much shall we “do?” Some of us are much more prone towards the doing. The extreme of this person runs around ragged from sun-up to sun-down without a spare moment in the day for prayer, reflection, or silence. Maybe you find yourself in this mode of operation: striving, running, chasing, doing, achieving, accomplishing, producing. You are never satisfied, never content, never finished, and never at rest.
Others are much more prone towards the being. This person is in touch with his or her inner world and considers the complexities of the true and false self. Maybe you are one who enjoys days of silence and solitude where you can sit quietly and not lift a finger. Or perhaps you find it much easier to forget everything and everyone around you so that you can be alone, quiet, uninterrupted, unbothered, and unavailable to a noisy and demanding world.
It seems that both extremes of being and doing (especially apart from one another) miss the mark of what God invites us into. Our lives, instead, shall be a well-balanced marriage of both being and doing. It seems that our being shall inform the doing–we live and act and respond and serve the Lord [doing] out of our understanding that we are God’s beloved, treasured children of our Father and that we cannot earn his love for us [being]. But we certainly must pair action with reflection, for one without the other is unbalanced and we end up failing to produce lasting fruit.
So on your journey in the well-ordered way, we encourage you to pair action with reflection; spend vast amounts of time in silence, solitude, and listening prayer before the Lord. And then get to work joyfully(!)–laboring for the Lord and advancing the Kingdom in whatever unique ways he is calling you towards. Our action must be paired with reflection; and our reflection must be followed up with God-honoring action.
Blessings to you!
** To read more on the balance of being/doing and action/reflection, click here.