May 02, 2008

Being is More Important than Doing -- Janet Sketchley

“I can do everything through him who gives me strength.” Philippians 4:13, NIV

Sometimes we read this verse and guilt ourselves into thinking we should be busy 24/7, but the Apostle Paul meant he could do everything God led him to do. Not everything he personally thought he ought to do.

I was talking with a friend recently about the drive to fill every waking hour with “productivity.” Those of us who are task oriented fall into this easier than others, perhaps. It feels good to check things off our lists and see what we’ve accomplished.

God does give us tasks, be they performing heart transplants or cleaning toilets. He also gives us relationships: with others and with Himself. If we’re constantly in motion, it’s hard to be in relationship.

In January I identified different aspects of life I felt He wanted me to highlight, to find better balance in my days. May…my birthday month…time to revisit the list and get back on track. Your list will be different, but maybe this will spark some thoughts. On my paper, it’s laid out in a circle to symbolize wholeness, but I’m not that talented with blog layouts so here’s a straight list:

Relationships: God, husband, children, family and friends

Home: managing, tidying, cooking, errands, banking etc

Personal: fitness, prayer, journaling, music, cross-stitch, reading etc

Church/ministry: Bible study group, prayer team, blog

Writing: novel manuscript revisions, courses, FellowScript acquisitions, attend Write! Canada, etc

I find it freeing to look at planning my day and see where the different things fit into my “balance plan.” And including areas like relationships and prayer reminds me not to get caught in the “doing” trap. These things are perhaps more important, but they involve “being” rather than doing. They remind me to go beyond my to-do list, but they also remind me I need to intentionally leave space in my day to include them.

© Janet Sketchley, 2008
For devotionals, reviews and conversation, stop by Janet Sketchley's blog, God with Us: Finding Joy.


  1. Hi Joanna, thanks for the bible verse from Philippians. It has reminded me that He will give me strength to do the things I need to do. I may not be able to do as much as I used to but He will enable me to serve Him.
    Your circle idea reminds me of the native philosophy. They see God the Creator as being in the middle of everything. Whether it be our family, our job, or our freetime, it all revolves around Him.

  2. oooh, that hits a point... I'm one who likes to checl off a list, but that's harder to do with a newborn. Need to remember she's more important. :)

  3. Balance - I strive for it too. What a great reminder for this fellow doer.


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