Family Ministries Blog

All Saints' Episcopal Church in Lakeland, Florida provides this forum as an exploration of family life with an emphasis on parenting, children, and teens. We hope that you will join our conversation and visit our children & youth ministries.

Human Being vs. Human Doing

I recently heard a pastor friend mention this idea that we are called human beings and not human doings. What a fun play on our English language, I thought! A day later, I was attending a centering prayer gathering where one member of the group mentioned that she was praying about how she was "being" before God. Then, I reflected upon a billboard that had been up around town which asked, "Who do you want to be?" with the idea that the institution would help you develop your qualities of being rather than specifically focus on how to help you do something as a career. It seems to be a good word that I need to hear this week. How does this thought resonate with you? Let me explore a little bit...

So much of our lives are focused on doing projects, whether it is for work or home, or whether it is for getting our family members to activities and to support them, or perhaps for organizing activities and studies for schools and churches. We are a project-oriented society! I cannot deny that I enjoy having projects and find fulfillment in "human doing"! And I also cannot deny that God does indeed want us to be doers of the word (James 1:22), but that drive in us to be active in our faith needs to be balanced with a deep sense of who we are as God's children .

So I, in addition to being a "doer", also realize the deep need for simply being. I think about my family members and friends who know me well and how I can enjoy being myself when I am with them. I can take that for granted, but I receive a huge blessing when I am aware of the love and peace that comes by simply being who I am with and for them. It's a true gift from God and one that comes when I take time to slow down and quiet my doings to simply be. I know that my family and friends value that from me, and I know that when I slow down to be quiet before God (Psalm 46:10), I am able to know God better and to know myself better, too.

I challenge all of us to think about this balance between being and doing and to be present to God in all of it. For us to know God, to praise God, to exhort God in all that we are in our being, and then to do the same in all that we do should be our daily liturgy of life. Thanks be to God for the being that God created in all of us, and thanks be to God for glorifying his name through doing his word!

Ordinary Time Is Not Ordinary

Scripture Readings for Sunday, July 30

First Lesson Genesis 29:15-28
Psalm Psalm 119:129-136
Second Lesson Romans 8:26-39
The Holy Gospel Matthew 13:31-33, Matthew 13:44-52

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