Do nothing. That sentence sounds like such a simple thing, doesn’t it? It’s just two little words and it sounds like a pretty easy thing to do. Just stop what you’re doing and now you’re doing nothing. That’s how it works, right? It literally doesn’t take anything to do nothing.
Or does it? 🤯
So this was the line of questioning I put my brain through while we were “relaxing” at a lakeside bungalow celebrating Eric’s birthday. As I closed my eyes in a sun-drenched lounge chair, I thought to myself, am I really capable of doing nothing? My brain never stops. Some would say neither does my mouth. 😉 Touché. But doing nothing is not something that comes easy for me. I’ve always been a busy person with an overactive brain. So even when lying in the sun on a perfect lake day, my mind was running through plans, checklists, thoughts about life and even what we were going to grill that night.
Then I started wrestling with myself about how I should be doing nothing. Turn your brain off, I said to myself. I squinted my eyes and gritted my teeth. Turn off brain. Turn off. Turn off. Turn offfffffff. Count sheep. Wait… if I’m doing all this to make my mind stop working, isn’t that doing something. Ok then, how do I do nothing? This little wrestling match went on for a bit before I jumped in the pool to quiet the neural pathways sabotaging my peace.
I’m now convinced that for most of us, doing nothing is not as easy as it sounds. (#understatement) But I’m also certain each of us would agree that it’s a critical something we must do for our health, sanity…and well… for the safety of our loved ones. 😉 Doing nothing is often a reset for our brains. It means giving yourself the chance to breathe. It means rest. It means taking your foot off the gas, getting off the hamster wheel and pausing. It means being still so you can hear what God wants to say. It means trusting Him. So in all actuality doing nothing is quite possibly one of the most important somethings we do in our life.
Are you still with me? 🤯
When the Israelites were first led into the desert, they were grumbling and complaining about lack of food. God heard their pleas and each day sent manna from heaven to feed them. He gave strict instructions to only gather what was needed for each day. When they gathered more than they were instructed, the food rotted. They wasted their effort and time instead of resting and trusting.
Now the sixth day was the only time when they were to gather enough for two days so they could have a day of rest. This was a new concept for the Israelites since they had been in slavery for hundreds of years. No one had ever had a day off. So out of His amazing goodness and provision, God made arrangements for them to do nothing. Yet some went out on the Sabbath day to gather anyway, but found there was no manna. #shocker. He told you what to do so you could rest. Silly gooses.
God’s plan for us often includes a balance of work and rest – doing something and doing nothing. It actually takes a lot of trust to do nothing. We trust that everything is going to be ok and taking the time to rest is just as important as doing the things. We trust that God knows what’s best for us and if He can rest on the seventh day, we can certainly take a few hours, days, weeks, whatever to regroup, recharge, refocus and most of all do nothing.
How hard is it for you to do nothing? What does do nothing look like to you? When’s the last time you did nothing? I encourage you to take some time for nothing so you have the energy and enthusiasm for all the somethings in your world.