That Thing That You Don’t Do (that you shouldn’t do) Is Harder to Not Do Than it is to Do
I was fortunate to finish my childhood, my teens, near the water.
There was the bay itself crammed with yachts and circled by invading armies of homes halted by the water’s edge. But then just literally across the street, across a narrow peninsula was the Pacific Ocean leaning heavily against the continental shelf just offshore.
Surfing, sailing, swimming -I spent as much time around, in and on the water as I could. And when I couldn’t I would look wistfully out upon it as the face of someone adored.
Summertime, as you can imagine, was a beehive of tourists and local activity. “Zooport” (not Newport) we called it.
But late in the evenings after the radiation of the setting Sun was blocked by the Earth under our feet, human busyness withdrew. The cool water of the bay, the breeze overhead and the crashing waves on the shoreline came back into focus.
How often did I look out at the sailboats asleep in their slips rocked slowly to and fro by the motion of the black liquid beneath their bellies? Their bare masts like sticks drew wide lazy circles in the air, accompanied by the familiar and somehow comforting, languid clapping of the rigging against them. And the surface of the water in the harbor reflected the nighttime sky.
Overhead! Look! The heavens declare the glory of God!
Yet I learned not to see it. Even at that age. The heavens yes. The Glory of God no. Aren’t we all like that? It’s a conspiracy in which we all partake.
We are brought back brought back brought back to the world of men in which we stake out our own little patch and compete. That is our purpose. That is what we do. We are taught this by our parents, our peers and the world at large, and we are willing and eager students.
Then one day we look back at what we’ve done.
Hopefully it isn’t too late in life to make a course correction. And if it’s not too late hopefully it isn’t a look back with glazed eyes and a hurried mind eager to return back to what is known and comfortable.
As long as we breathe it is never too late to look back. But don’t look aghast at what was, so much as in hope to what can be. There is something there that you may never have seen, or had briefly looked upon but disregarded. Stop a moment and look closer.
You know there is more to life than our minds will reveal when our minds are large and in charge. What can be done about that?
I am rendered speechless by that question. It is my mind that put me there in the first place, so can it also free me from its own influence? Because to ask “what can be done” is asking my mind what action it can take.
What action CAN it take?
Sometimes it’s not what you do but what you don’t do that’s important.
And that thing that you don’t do (that you shouldn’t do) is harder to not do than it is to do! (Did I say that right?).
The point is this: you aren’t large and in charge. God is. It’s hard I know, it takes effort and discipline, but we must align ourselves with His purpose not ours.
And the heavens that declare the glory of God?
Celebrate! Because they belong to you! They are part of your inheritance if only you will turn the helm over to Him!
How do you get started? (This is the easy part!) Begin with John 3:16
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.