The Gift of the Open Hand (5 of 5)

Undoubtedly, you have heard it said that time is money. It is an economic maxim of sorts, meant to define time as a resource under the rubric of supply and demand and measured in terms of productivity. We are only given so many minutes in a lifetime, before time’s up, for each of us. This is likely what gave rise to the old adage “Idle hands are the devil’s workshop” – because we are either spending our time pursuing worthy endeavors or it will be wasted by default in a dissipation, of one form or another. That’s where that impulse to look busy when the boss comes around comes from – instinctively, we know we’re supposed to be busy doing something.

Productivity is one of those empty container words, of which the definition is completely contingent upon the contents found within – contents which, regardless of intentionality, produces an outcome all the same. And even when volitional intention is specifically involved, there can still be a variance between intention and outcome. So here’s the sobering reality – your life is always producing an outcome . . . whether or not it’s an outcome you intend. Maybe we should pay more attention to the content we’re putting into that container.

The daily grind of our day to day will at times take on a frenetic pace, multi-tasking the mundane and exceptional, alike – as we attempt to keep our lives on track. Preoccupied with paying the bills and triaging our calendars to reflect what needs to get done . . . while making room for what we want to do. So we daily fill our hands with all of the stuff and activities we’ve convinced ourselves are required to produce the life we want — all the while assuming that the outcome of our efforts will be such a life . . . and this is where the disconnect occurs.

imagesThis is the most common disconnect between being and doing. We always assume that the doing will lead to the being – so we occupy our hands with what we think we should have, and with what we think we should do to have it. We are willing to trade time for money, in hopes that we’ll finally have enough money to buy the kind of quality time it will take to be who it is we want to be. All the while failing to see, we already have that time right now to be that person. This is the gift of the open hand – it holds nothing, and it is content to do so . . .

Everyone’s familiar with Philippians 4:13 “I can do all things through him who strengthens me”, but few connect this very bold statement about doing with the importance of the preceding verses (11,12) about first learning how to be content no matter the circumstance. The fulcrum of living in the power of Christ is found in learning how to be in Christ – being transformed into his likeness. In Luke 10:38-42 we find Martha angry that her sister, Mary is doing nothing. But by being with Christ, Mary is actually beginning to discover the whole point to everything she’ll ever do. So I say, have a seat Martha – quiet your busy mind and let your heart be lifted . . . and let your hands fall open.

Gotta hold it with an open hand . . .


2 thoughts on “The Gift of the Open Hand (5 of 5)

  1. ”We always assume that the doing will lead to the being – so we occupy our hands with what we think we should have, and with what we think we should do to have it.” Oh my. How important is this for the body of Christ to hear. Bless you Brother.

    Liked by 1 person

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