A bold statement: “What I am becoming is way more important than what I am doing”.
Yet, in reality, it is freeing. It allows me to stop worrying about producing and pay attention to the things I am learning, the ways I’m being stretched, and what is birthed in the way of fruit as a result of the choices I make in life.
We’ve probably all experienced the George Bailey (It’s A Wonderful Life) moments, where we wonder if our having been born really makes much difference at all. These ideas usually come on the tail end of a season of having things seemingly on a downturn. Much of these distractions, if we choose to focus on them, tend to keep us from happily “row row rowing our boat merrily, merrily, merrily, down the stream”.
If we can consider that perhaps, what we are becoming through the processes of reflection, growth and change in our lives may be more important than whatever it is we are endeavoring to do, we may be able to endure the challenges of life more patiently.
In Malcolm Gladwell’s book “Outliers”, he identifies the difference in our level of expertise in life according to a 10,000-hour rule. This “rule” is that when you have invested 10k hours in doing something, you are truly an expert at it. He parallels the lives of Bill Gates and Steve Jobs, among others. It is a really good read about some interesting success stories, as well as motivational.
The importance is placed on what we are becoming in light of practicing and reading and engaging in repeated efforts around things we are passionate about. I think of it like learning to write in cursive, or playing the piano, or whatever we endeavor to do well. We don’t arrive at “being a master”; the art of mastery is in the becoming…the practice, the conscious thinking and focusing on, the commitment to continuing to get back in the ring, on the bike or horse, or at the keyboard, and the willingness to compete with only one…myself…as a means for improving today over yesterday.
It isn’t a striving; it is a growing process. It is natural like learning to crawl before we walk and like acquiring a taste for new things, whether it be food or adventure.
To enjoy life on a broader scale, be open to all things but attached to none. Being open doesn’t mean you have to “do” all things; the openness (absence of judgment) frees us mentally to focus on the becoming. We celebrate and feel the exhilaration of what “can be” as opposed to fighting what can’t be or feeling hemmed in by all we “can’t do”.
I recently engaged in a conversation with a good friend as we discussed the “bearing of fruit” in our lives versus “producing fruit”. She had spent some time reflecting on her journey and what God’s Word says regarding the difference and it was very enlightening. We often strive to produce fruit. If we can frame our efforts in the matter of “bearing fruit”, it is a natural progression of building on to a well-laid foundation or a well-watered garden.
So, whatever you are facing at the present moment, if you are tempted to stress over all that you are doing, whether or not it is the right thing to do or try, consider that what you will learn in this season is another piece in what you are becoming. We are able to learn from all choices that we make and we benefit from everything we learn, so you can just go with it and welcome the awareness you now have around the art of becoming.
God has ignited a candle within each of us, a passion with potential to burn brightly in our sphere of influence. As we move into the process of becoming and away from the worry of “doing”, we will have more clarity in the many ways He will work in and through us so that we can take our candle and light our world.
What you do, may be forgotten tomorrow, but what you become will make all the difference!
Sheri Geyer is a Christian Life Coach, Writer, Speaker, Wife & Mom