This Is What I Do

This Is What I Do (1,125)

April 23rd, 2011

It started early.

Our parents, friends and relatives were all concerned about what we were going to do. It showed up in three statements:

(1) “Do what I say.”

(2) “Do what I say, not what I do.”

(3) “Think before you do.”

The intention for these restrictions was to make us more responsible, but they actually made us more rebellious or overly cautious. Rebellious people always end up the victims of their own spontaneity and cautious people always end up with the short straw, having to perform tasks against their will.

If we are going to have a good “house cleaning” during this Easter season, we must learn the difference between two very important spiritual words: do and consider.

For let us be transparent—if you find yourself considering when you should be doing, you will always end up regretting your indecision. And if your path takes you into doing without adequate consideration, you will always end up at least apologizing, if not paying restitution.

How can we distinguish? How can we take the fruit of our hearts, the belief of our spirits, the thinking of our brains—and turn them into productive action? Let’s go to where these words appear in the teachings of Jesus.

“Do unto others.”

“Consider the lily.”

The purpose for considering is to study nature and the ways of our earth and draw parallels for our spiritual and practical lives. I occasionally watch the Animal Planet or the Discovery Channels just to learn how the natural order God created works, drawing comparisons to my situation.

Yes, we should “consider the lily and how it grows.” It does not toil nor does it spin. So how does it work? It plants itself—good soil. It receives all the potentials of sunshine and water around it and it accepts the fact that its bloom, although beautiful, is temporary.

So the times I should consider instead of doing are when there is much to be tapped and learned from nature around me. So instead of rejecting this wisdom because it is from the animal kingdom and plant life, I garner blessing and direction from the experience.

As I told you maybe a week ago, I don’t question global warming nor do I become an advocate, but instead, I decide to pursue the path of a student. The earth and its ways are a visual Bible of how the heart and mind of God functions on this plane of existence. I consider, when I’m in the presence of people, animals, nature or anything that can give me insight on why I am the way I am and what I might be able to apply to be a better inhabitant of earth.

Do unto others—taking any decision that involves helping my fellow-man, moving forward with greater understanding or just taking steps to becoming a better person.

Yes, taking logical decisions to improve life into committee is a useless delay which makes us look short-sighted and stupid. America has become obsessed with committees and debate over issues that we know are actually non-debatable. We obviously need to take care of our older folks. We need to do something to guarantee health care for everyone so that no one needs to be ashamed of being ill or go bankrupt because of it. We should never empty our funds to help others, but also should never walk away without depositing something into the situation.

The problem in our world today is that we are considering when we should be doing and also we are often doing things without any respect for God’s natural order and without ever considering the lily.

For me, it’s simple. If it is something unto others which is going to benefit human life, I just do it. I have never seen a committee meeting cover every eventuality anyway. Revisions are still made on the spot and changes are certainly on the horizon in the dawning of every endeavor. Taking extra time to plan something that we know we need to do anyway may seem noble and grown-up but often it is standing back and watching the window of opportunity close in front of us.

Likewise, refusing to notice the progress of our world and learn from past mistakes of other living creatures, including our ancestors, before we launch, is short-sighted. So whenever opportunity comes my way, I ask two quick questions:

(1) Has anybody or anything ever tried this before? If so, I review the results and learn from their adventures.

(2) Is it going to benefit others even though the finish line may not be in sight? In other words, is it something I probably should be doing anyway and I am just wondering whether I can provide a safety net to keep myself from looking ridiculous? If I know we need to do it anyway, I step out slowly, keeping my eyes on things that come before me that I need to consider—because they are there to teach me better ways to do it.

My upbringing was an attempt to create a submission to the common understanding of my day, which often was insufficient to the need, causing me to either rebel or become too cautious. There are two things for certain—rebellion never bears any fruit except isolation, and caution is no one’s friend because all it leaves is lamentation.

So once I get my ducks in a row and I know something is being done unto others, I go do it, learning as I progress. And if there is wisdom in the universe—or even in my own neighborhood—I will “consider the lily” before I plant my own seeds.

Do and consider. It is powerful.

The world was not created by committee.

It was put together by the word of God—and perfected as He went along.

Published in: on April 23, 2011 at 2:20 pm  Leave a Comment  
%d bloggers like this: