I heard a sermon once. It was offered by the Rev. Dr. Larry Greenfield and he likened life to a Frank Sinatra classic that included “do-be-do-be-do” in its lyrics. Biblically, I think the reference had to do with being saved by faith and not by works and he equated “faith” with the “be-ing” part of our journeys, while “works” was the “do-ing” part of life. I remember him saying that we move from one to the other in life but that all too often we get caught up in thinking we have to “do” all the time.
And then today, I read an Advent piece that reminded me of Larry’s sermon. It’s written by Kelly Adams who is the Director of Clergy Support Ecosystem for the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, and it said:
Stay alert! Easy enough. Americans are overcaffeinated, overstimulated, and overactive. We can’t help but be alert. Our phones ding every 30 seconds with messages and calendar reminders. Alert is our standard way of being in the world.
Is it possible that we have become so alert to everyone and everything around us that we are no longer aware of when Jesus is in our midst? After all, Jesus’ first arrival was in a manger. From the time of his birth he turned the expectations of a savior upside down. If Jesus still arrives in the ways we are least expecting, we must not only be alert, but aware of his presence.
I think she’s right. We ARE bombarded with stimuli that keep us “alert and awake,” but as I harken back to that sermon almost 30 years ago, I have come to understand that my life is a dance between “do-ing” and “be-ing.” They are sort of the yin-yang partners of our faith, I think.
Almost imperceptibly we develop our own rhythm of life, don’t we? When we wake up … when the optimum time for us to concentrate it … when we are most productive.
And if we are really honest with ourselves, we know that we operate BEST when we are in sync with our own rhythms. We are at our best when we are in balance with ourselves … with our world … with God’s Spirit among/within us. And part of that balance is the movement – the flow – the current that sweeps us between “do-ing” all the time, i.e. being so alert that we are poised for action, and “be-ing”, i.e. settling in to the quiet solitude and awareness of the moment so that we are able to find the sacred in everything.
Advent is one of those times when we are encouraged to step away from “do-ing” in order to just “be” in the moment and reflect on our lives … our faith … our relationship with the One about to be born in our hearts again as if for the first time. We may still be in the busy-ness of the world for 23.5 hours a day, but for that .5 hour (or however long we can eke out) we can just “be” and take in the wonder and the mystery of our “being-ness.”
What are you going to do today to rebalance and regain the rhythm of your “do-be-do-be-do?” How is this Advent time inviting you to grow?
Blessings on your journey!