Do. Do. Do.

Work. Work. Work.

Produce. Produce. Produce.

We live in a society that determines our value on what we produce.

Homeless = 0

on welfare = 0

mom who stays home = 2

news anchor on major network = 7

blue collar worker = 4

movie actor = 10

Even though that blue collar worker has to work long hours and builds and fixes and sweats their heart out every day to provide we don’t value them as highly as someone who entertains us for a couple of hours. The volume of blog posts about a movie actor who commits suicide is a little crazy I think. Yes he was a great actor and I won’t belittle mental illness or anything like that…but you won’t get that response for the plumber who had a heart attack while fixing an old lady’s toilet or the mom who died leaving behind three small children.

We work and work and work and work because that is what we believe makes us valuable.

We make to do lists that are insane recipes for an exhausting day.

We give glory to those who ‘work’ hard and sacrifice their families.

For what?

When was the last time that you actually did something because you really wanted to. Something that made you feel like you were alive and just maybe you felt like this was what you were created to do.

I love the Chariots of Fire quote where Mr. Liddel says he ran because that’s when he felt God’s pleasure.

God created you and I for something.

Yes, part of it was to work, take care of the earth.

But I believe He deposited something in each of us that directly reflects him that he wants us to pursue.

Maybe it’s music or art or design or electrical work or teaching or preaching or acting or dentistry. I don’t know. But there is most likely something that creates a spark in you, that makes you light up a little when you do it.

And it may not have anything to do with actually producing something.

It might have a lot to do with being who God created you to be.

In Chapter 4, Bonnie talks about avoiding an issue that brought up nasty memories, ones that she would rather not remember. She says:

I wanted to go with the business of life and get back to a productive place: separated from my heart. This is how I’ve lived my life. Fine and functioning, but frozen. (pg 57)

Sometimes it’s hard to know the difference between how you feel and where God wants you to go. (pg 53)

I want to know where God wants me to go. I don’t want to be separated from my feelings and my heart any longer.

I have hidden behind the busyness of work and kids and ministry in order to cover up a shriveling heart.

This path of whitespace is one in which I intend to explore the creative side of me that tends to get lost in the to do list. I can’t begin to explain how it feels when I sit down at my sewing machine or with some paper and glue but I know my insides smile.

I don’t want to be defined or compete for accomplishments anymore. We do that don’t we – when someone asks us what we did today we rattle off our list or we slink behind a muddy answer to cover up our lack.

I want to find the passion that used to burn in me.

I am not sure how to do it but I am trusting that this path will lead me there.

I need to find my heart again.

Your turn – can you lay down the to do list to explore what makes you come alive?

* This post is part of a series based on the book Finding Spiritual Whitespace by Bonnie Gray.

The rest of the series starts here.