Do vs. Be
Yesterday we had a student leadership team meeting in which we planned out an all-student-run night of youth group. I'm excited (and a little bit nervous) to give away an entire night of youth group and give these students a chance to own their faith in front of their peers. I think God will do a lot through that night. Any doubts that I had were assuaged yesterday during our meeting when we came to the point of talking through why we do the things we do in a night of youth group. I wanted them to be able to know, understand, and own the elements of a youth group night so that they could most effectively run it. I asked, "okay, so why do we do worship?" To which one of the students responded, "well, I don't know if this is totally right but its a chance to glorify God, and I'm so busy so its a chance to stop everything else we are doing even if we haven't stopped yet that week and just Be in front of God." Also, to clarify, I'm the Middle School Youth Pastor, so this was from the mouth of a middle schooler.
I think that creating space to just Be is vitally important to an active spiritual life. As excited as I was by this student's answer its making me pause today for a few reasons. Firstly, I think we need to create that space every day in which we are able to recenter ourselves and repoint our lives towards God. This isn't just taking a few meditative breaths, this is stopping everything and breaking the cycle of business in order to be fully present. Shut off your phone, light a candle, go for a walk, pray and ask God to give you the wisdom to say no to things so that you will be structured around sabbath living rather than trying to structure your sabbath into your doing.
Scripture: "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest." Matthew 11:28.
The second thing I paused for is the realization that we've (and by we, I mean all of us) passed on the idea that living is being too busy to stop. How can we (and by we, I mean all of us) live into breaking that cycle and be people that practice and live sabbath regularly? How can we redeem some of the lost moments of our day-to-day routines by by giving them back to God? How would our lives look different if we broke that cycle all the time and started praying while we do things like brush our teeth - that the words we speak that day will be cleansed? Praying while we are making food and lifting up those that don't have food. What would our lives look like if we lived into that? Thats the kind of story I want my life to be a part of. Will we be do-ers or be-ers?
Scripture: "Be still and know that I am God." Psalm 46:10.