Human being.

The Art of Human Being

Have you ever felt you are so far behind that you will never catch up?

I have.  In fact, I feel that way a lot.  That I am losing more ground than I’m covering.  That everything just slips farther and farther away, and I can’t move fast enough to catch the target.

It’s confession time.  I’m not just writing this post today for you.  I’m also writing it for me.  I guess I write many posts for me in some way or another, but today I need to hear this.  I just hope you do, too.  I know a lot of people approach their messages and talks from a place of strength.  I’ve just never found that to be very effective, or very me.  So here is my weakness.  May we see the strength of God through it.

I fear I am dangerously close to becoming a human doing, and not a human being.  Even when I am stopped and relaxing, I am beginning to tighten up because I know there are so many things I need to do.  As such, I do not truly stop.  And I do not truly relax.  And inside I wind up tighter and tighter, because I am not doing what I need to be doing.

Every time I get a burst of traction, too, it feels like a hundred hands reach out to pull me back.  Whether it’s my health, an obligation I have to fulfill for another person, a person who needs my presence, energy and being, or just the grueling seepage of time, there are many things that conspire to catch me.  (I know some people could read that last sentence and think, “That’s me doing that.”  Please don’t.)

Can you relate?  Maybe your problem isn’t the same.  But have you felt that tightening in your chest?  That sinking sensation?  That, despite your best efforts, you’re about to drown?

It might not be a full-on panic attack.  It might be a subtle thing, just out of view, that you feel in your belly as it creeps around.  You’re drowning.  Your lungs just don’t know it yet.

When this happens, what do we do to stem the tide?  What can we do, against a force so powerful and implacable?

I realize that I must give up control.  I must learn to be.

I close my eyes, take a deep breath, and submerge myself in the limitless depths of God.  I can feel Him closing around me, encircling and overwhelming me, and as He does He pushes the rest back.  The tightness, the darkness, the sense of do, do, do.  I trust Him, that He has a plan, and that that plan is good.  I trust that, if I keep chipping away day after day, I will eventually bring down a mountain.  And I resolve that I will not be consumed by the doing when it returns (as it surely will.)

Because I am a human being.

It’s about the little moments.  The oddball instances with your spouse and children and siblings and parents.  The times that, as you walk away, you realize that you did a good thing, even if it cost you in time and resources and yourself.

In the end, we are all meant to be a human being.  Being together.  Being in touch.  Being connected to someone else and something else.  Being sacrificial.  Being giving.  Being vulnerable.  Being human.

This human experience is our lot, and we shirk it at our own peril.  If we allow half of our title to slip away from us, how long before the human part does as well?  The doing is a big part of our experience, but so is the being.  So, sometime this week, let’s unplug.  Let’s disconnect.  Let’s pull loved ones close.  And let’s just be.