I like to do.
I love doing, creating, ideating, deal making, working, talking about work, and helping people do stuff.
Sometimes when I’m not working I kind of daydream about working.
I suck at not doing. It’s a rare thing that I’ll turn off my brain or body and not do.
I’m not good at TV sitcoms because I’m rarely interested in sitting and watching a program… Which is why most of what I watch is on Discovery or The History Channel. When I do sit down to watch TV, I don’t want a storyline to follow, just give me something interesting on its own.
Episode 6 of season 5 of some soap opera? That’s not my thing. I’ve got no patience for that. A million other things interest me before that.
I’ve gotten better at Sabbath. As a family we shut it down on Sunday. (Pretty consistently from lunch until dinner) But, upon reflection, even that involves doing. We go somewhere, we pack the car, we play in the ocean, we go to the park, or we go to the zoo.
But do nothing? I struggle.
It takes me a good 72 hours of unscheduled nothingness before my mind releases the desire to do. Anything less just feels like a pause. Just like I can stop working and enjoy volunteering at church or going on a date with Kristen, its still just a pause with work stuff a millimeter below the surface.
I’m present in those situations. But the desire to do is there. And an afternoon at the beach feels great, but it’s like a nap when you really need a slumber.
In order to truly shut it down I need to get away from my routine, my house, my computer, and even the Internet.
And I need time.
I like the noise doing creates in my life. I like feeling productive. A lie I believe is that my doing, providing, creating, is somehow related to my survival. (I’m a blue collar kid. We live off what we earn.)
If I spiritualize it, a lie I believe is that God is most pleased with me, therefore provides for me the best, when I am doing my best “for Him.” (Whatever that means.)
So, sitting here. I’m swinging in this hammock on day 3 of a week-long vacation in Yosemite. The kids chattering in the background about some game they created with a stick. My wife unleashing smiles she reserves for purely for vacation. I look up at the giant yellow pines towering above me, gently swaying in the breeze, I wonder how old they are, and I wonder how many thousands of families they’ve watched play over the years.
In this state of relaxation, in this state of comfort, in this state of having nothing better to do than read a book in a hammock I start to reflect.
I’m reflecting on a day where nothing important got done… it hits me: God loves me when I be.
Bonus! Tim Mauer wrote an amazing post about vacations I can’t recommend enough. Check out 10 Reasons to Take a 10 Day Vacation.