“Just Be.”

That’s what a friend told me after we arrived in the mountains on our first vacation since returning from Africa, “Just be.”  That’s an interesting statement in many ways.

It’s hard for me because just being isn’t easy.  First it takes a few days to wind down from the hustle and bustle of civilization.  My mind doesn’t stop, but keeps churning like a hamster stuck in its play wheel.  Eventually, though, it slows down to the point where I can take in the beauty of nature and time off.

Second, just being just isn’t in my nature.  I’m a “J” on the Myers Briggs Personality Instrument.  A “J” means that I am a planner and need—no, crave—order in my life.  To just be would mean to allow life to happen without feeling the need to control it, to influence it.  Scary, huh?

As a missionary counselor, I see the inability to do this quite often in counseling sessions.  Missionaries, whether real or perceived, feel the need to just do for many reasons, the main being self and community worth.  I would like to tell you that if you aren’t a missionary you don’t suffer from this affliction of just doing, but, alas, I fear it is a human disease.  Just doing is much safer than just being.

Maybe it was the way he said it; or maybe it was the context in which it was said, but it resonated with me like never before.

Are you able to just be?  Do you think it is a missionary trait or a human trait?  Can a person just be when he or she isn’t on vacation?



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2 responses to ““Just Be.”

  1. Chris Winkler

    Work hard, play hard. When on vacation, I shut down the work brain (in my last role, I would add the caveat “as much as possible” here, but with my current role it truly does shut down). I am very much like you and a do-er…but I learned a while back the critical nature of true vacations.

    As you know, burnout is abundant in our profession and I work hard to not get burned out…if that makes sense. 🙂

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