When to do Everything, Something, or Nothing

Jen_IGGuest post by blogger Jen Mguni

When I was a tiny tot I went for piano lessons once a week. Perched on the piano stool, I loved looking down and seeing my chubby little fingers thumping out staccato sounds. The short, crisp notes had a special place in my soul and I think that’s one of the reasons that I now love packaging life-lessons into punchy phrases.

The great thing about mini maxims is that they form well-worn paths in the brain, making them easy to fish out of the pocket of our souls at the very moment that we need to stand on some truth. And today I’ve got three for you that interlock beautifully together.

1. Do everything: Start writing down the things that you want to get right in life and I bet you’ll end up with quite a list! We want to eat healthily, exercise more, be compassionate, work creatively, be that all-encompassing ideal of a good friend/wife/mother, read more, write inspirationally, lead effectively, love unconditionally, labour tirelessly and live righteously. Proverbs 31 talks about a woman who is capable and I’d love to say that we’re born that way, but the reality is that we need to continually grow in our capacity so that we can live the full life that God intended us to live. My “do everything” phrase pushes me to be the best woman that I can be (woman, not super-woman) and also reminds me that everything isn’t anything at all if it’s done without love.

2. Do something: Sometimes I drag the whole weight of our broken beautiful world onto my shoulders. I climb right under all the ugliness and my knees buckle under the burden because I was never built to carry it. My “do something” phrase is what I call to mind when I realise that I’m in this particular place again. It reminds me to get out from under the ugliness by crawling through the tunnel of prayer, asking that God would help me to trust that his love can sink deep into all the cracks like healing balm. My “do something” phrase also reminds me that instead of feeling overwhelmed by all the hurt and evil, I can do something. Whether that something is paying for one child’s school fees, or writing an encouraging letter, or buying someone a meal, or praying a heartfelt prayer strung together with stumbling sentences, something is possible and small things can make a big difference.

3. Do nothing: My husband has known me for a long time now and during all those years he’s been telling me that I need to learn how to rest. It isn’t something that I excel at and I should probably read the whole Mary and Martha story at least once a week, so “do nothing” is the phrase that I pull out of the pocket of my soul when I know there are a million things that I could do but it’s clear that what I should do is just be still. When I walk down the “do nothing” path in my mind, I remind myself that sometimes doing nothing is the best possible use of my time and that living a full life sometimes means fully enjoying an afternoon nap on a Saturday or switching the laptop off in the evening in favour of an earlier night.

So friends, do everything…do something… do nothing.

Do you need to do more of ‘everything’, ‘something’ or nothing right now? What does that look like in your life?

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