We are created as human BEings, not human DOings.
Yet we spend the bulk of our lives DOing and give very little thought to BEing. One of my lifelong struggles has been to simply BE instead of always DO.
I remember when I was first challenged by the thought of BEing.
The year was 1991 and we had started Auntie Anne’s Pretzels about three years prior. By this point, I was completely exhausted. The demands of this fast-growing company were more than I could DO even though we had committed, qualified, and loyal employees.
The responsibility of it all rested squarely on my shoulders. God had entrusted us with a simple pretzel which turned into more than just a pretzel.
It became about managing, leading, and DOing more than I was physically capable of.
One morning I was feeling completely overwhelmed with my to-do list because I knew there were not enough hours in the day to complete it all.
I fell apart and crumbled to the floor.
My siblings came to my aid and I assured them I was okay but I knew I could not keep the pace that I thought was required of me.
They were kind and gracious and did the best they could to make my load lighter. (I’m grateful for my siblings.)
At that time I had no knowledge about BEing. I was hard-wired to DO because I grew up on a farm and it was all about doing a task and doing it well.
During that time, my standard answer to anyone who would ask me how I was doing was, “I’m doing great and things are going well!”
But on one particular occasion, my pastor at the time wasn’t giving into my standard response. I guess my presence and demeanor were obvious because he then asked me again, looking squarely into my eyes:
“How is Anne Beiler DOing?”
He knew the difference between DOing and BEing. He clearly knew my task was overwhelming and that I could not possibly keep doing all I was doing.
My tears flowed and I told him that I can’t do it anymore.
“I can’t build one more store. I can’t make one more trip. I can’t do one more meeting. I am at the end and I’m exhausted.”
His response and words of wisdom to me that day changed the future of who I would become.
He asked, “Have you ever thought about using your gift?”
I didn’t know what my gift was and didn’t understand what that had to do with anything. He was surprised because he knew what it was. I was ALL ears!
He helped me understand that my gift was to inspire and encourage. I was puzzled because it didn’t seem like a gift. It seemed more like something I did naturally.
I learned that day that your gift is what you were born with. God gave it to you to use and it’s something that comes naturally. Your gift needs to be developed and you have a lifelong opportunity to use it.
The revelation that day set the tone for me to lead from a different mindset. Before that day it was all about DOing the task. After that, it was all about BEing the very best that I could BE.
The external life of DOing was all I knew at that time, but that’s the day the internal life of BEing became clear to me.
If it’s all about the external life of DOing we will miss the beauty and the joy that comes from the internal life of BEing.
Take some time to reflect on your internal life. When your internal life is at peace, your external life will be as well.
And, if you have not discovered your gift, it’s never too late.
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