Being vs. Doing

I once heard a convincing sermon on being vs. doing. The emphasis centered on man having been created as a human being first and foremost, not a human doing.  We often move through life with the attitude that we must do in order to justify our existence.  That was certainly my M.O.

A friend who is a practicing Christian told me once that guilt was his primary motivating force.  That without guilt he wouldn’t be able to get out of bed in the morning.

Is the God we worship a god who capitalizes on guilt and coercion to influence his children?  I know this to be untrue.  God is rather nudging us from deep inside in a different direction.

Since the essence of God is love, compassion, and presence, it is impossible for Him to try to influence from negative motives.

Man as well as all the rest of creation was pronounced good.  Man, in fact, was labeled very good.  So where did this sick mentality come from that says we are only as good as the good that we do?  that we are only good as we produce?

I suggest that mentality comes from what might be called our antichrist—the consciousness that has been separated from our spiritual source.  Let us reconnect with our Center, our goodness, our Self.

Ann G. O’Dell

28 July 2015

God’s Questions

God’s ultimate questions to us are of being—not questions of knowing and especially not questions of doing.

His question to Adam and Eve about location (“Where are you?”) has greater bearing, not on the bushes they were hiding in, but rather where they were in relationship to Him.

Where are you spiritually?  Where are you in relation to your real Self—which is, after all, God-within-you?

Elijah flees for his life after Jezebel promises to kill him.  Then he decides he is no better than his fathers and tells God he is ready to die.  God tells Elijah to stand before Him on the mount.  And a great wind came and an earthquake and a fire.  But God was not in the wind or earthquake or fire.  And after the fire came a still small voice.  We, too, seek a knowing in a still small voice.

God directs us through the psalmist to “be still and know that I am God” (Ps. 46:10).  Notice the need to be still in order to know.  When we know God, we come to know ourselves and the divinity in our being.  We come to know that our being in relationship with God is his greatest desire.

Ann Glover O’Dell

June 2018

BEING

The story of the sacrifice of Isaac is so powerful that it is never referred to as the near-sacrifice. Abraham’s willingness to give up his son was 100%. The story shows, with two characters and God, what in the Jesus narrative is accomplished in one human being.

In stories the spiritual must be represented in the physical else there is nothing for the reader to work with as symbols. The physical can be interpreted in many ways and that’s what makes for a good story.

For Abraham, the son he had prayed for, his link to progeny, his proof of manhood, the long-awaited delivery of God’s promise—all this as his most prized possession was being asked of him. And his willingness was all God wanted.

Jesus was asked to give his life, his most prized possession, a life lived doing what he thought was the most important things: preaching, teaching, healing—what he thought God wanted him to do. As all those things were given up he became, in the narrative, one whose very being was transformed. The story says his being was so transparent and ethereal that he could move through a locked door and yet could eat and drink as a normal human.

He was recognized in a prayer of thanks. He prepared a meal for his friends. He didn’t preach or teach or heal. He encouraged his friends to be compassionate.

He just was. His being was enough. His being was exactly what God wanted of him. And what God wants of us.