I hate to twist words, but Shakespeare had it only partially right. “To be or not to be,” is such a classic quote. It has stuck, been used and even abused to where I’m sure ol’ Willy would put up a fuss if he knew how his words have become the gateway rationale for all kinds of mischief.
I’m not writing this about Shakespeare of course, but about my own need to clarify something close to my heart. I hope in some small way it may resonate with you, too.
There are times — no matter how hard I try, how hard I work — that the space between my ears still gets foggy. I feel like my wheels are spinning. Emotionally, mentally, physically… Oh, how I want to be grounded, focused, and fit! But the distance between where I am, and where I want to be, seems immense.
You know when you are in The Zone — the sun is shining and the bills are paid and people come up to you and complement that your hair is having a good day. You are grateful that the Holy Spirit is aligning all the right karma in your midst. Everything is coming up roses.
Other days, you wake up groggy and your head feels like a bowling ball. Let’s just say that maybe — just maybe — you already know that coffee is not going to cut it. It doesn’t matter what is on your calendar, next to everything you are scheduled to accomplish, is an asterisk of gloom. You can feel it in your bones.
We are supposed to walk by faith and not by sight, right? We are supposed to trust that God guides us, protects our ways, nudges us to get back on track when we feel off. His GPS may come in big, 180-degree turn arounds…. Or, just by a simple thought or revelation.
I don’t want to get bogged down here in overstating the obvious. But recently, I had one of those moments when, after a rather sluggish morning, I sat down with my notebook and wrote “To do and to be…. That is the question.” Not to bore you with the details, but in a broader sense, I realized this: I have to do, if I want to be.
If I want to be ten pounds lighter and tighten up my somewhat flabby core, then I need to do — exercise, better meal planning, eliminating that all-too tempting after dinner treat.
If I want to be finished with my next book in a reasonable timeframe, I need do a more disciplined “dark-thirty” writing schedule, do more seeking of His inspired discernment.
You get the picture.
The point is, I think God is a “do and be” kind of God. He wants us to use and do what He has endowed us with so that he can show us all that we can be. He wants us to exercise our faith, our trust, our awakenings towards our purpose. He wants us not to be stopped by fear, by what the world says we should do, or what the enemy convinces our spirits as to what we can or cannot accomplish.
With God all things are possible. And more than this, he wants us to not be complicit in “someday, I will” mentality. He wants us thriving, living, experiencing, and being who we are called to be.
God wants us to live life to the full.
I know that there are things that happen that cause our being and doing to get off course, to get jammed. We stop looking at life as a pallet of possibilities, and see only what ails us; crippling our instincts, our direction, our motivation. We get caught in the muck and the mire of reasons why we are the way we are, instead of using that energy to propel us past them.
I want you to know that I feel and understand this. I am, admittedly, too often here myself. I know that simple phrases are not sufficient to answer the deep-rooted, difficult, and heart-wrenching issues that face us on our journeys.
We can do all things through Christ who strengthens us. We can believe that God has us, is walking with us as we take just one step and then the next and then…? Before we know it, we are walking in our progress.
What can you imagine of yourself today, that in just trusting Him enough to help you do, you could see yourself become? These are simple, everyday habit sort of things that build and shape our way.
Know that you are not alone. Shrug off the reasons, the procrastination, the doubt… Sit down with your handy dandy notebook and ask yourself, in every area where you feel lack, what could you do in order to be your best?
Maybe this is where Shakespeare comes in to take his bow. To be or not to be, that is the question.
But the answer is always in Him that we find the strength to do. It’s already in you. You just need to take the step.
Your best is waiting for you and God is cheering you on.