Sometimes it takes a combination of events to get a message through my hard head. Motivated by the great weather my wife and I enjoyed a fun and active day yesterday. It seems I was busy “doing” all day. I observed lots of road work, but with many of the workers taking breaks, sitting or lounging on the side of the road, checking their phones. I read an article entitled “Why Sitting Too Much Harms Our Bodies.” All this got me thinking about how important it is to move from thinking about things to caring passionately about them, to doing something about them: from head to heart to hands.
Recently there has been renewed interest in the life and writings of Francis of Assisi, principally because the new Pope chose to adopt his name. Francis shook up the church of his day with his emphasis on doing over meditating and contemplating. As Richard Rohr has noted:
Those who have analyzed the writings of Francis have noted that he uses the word doing rather than understanding at a ratio of 175 times to 5. Heart is used 42 times to 1 use of mind. Love is used 23 times as opposed to 12 uses of truth. Mercy is used 26 times while intellect is used only 1 time. This is a very new perspective that is clearly different from the verbally argumentative Christianity of his time, and from the highly academic theology that would hold sway from then on. Francis took prayer on the road and into the activity of life itself, . . . [this] approach has been called a “performative spirituality” which means that things are only found to be true in the doing of them.
This is a media and communication age. We spend hours absorbing and producing social media, living in the cloud. We just seem to “do” less. “Christian” seems to say more what we believe than how we live. It’s why I’ve chosen the “do” word of “Follower.” It just seems to me that there is way too much thinking, and talking, even a lot of passionate feeling and believing, and not nearly enough doing.
As an attorney I specialize in thinking and talking and convincing. As a blogger I love recording thoughts and conveying ideas. All that is great and has a place. I’m just feeling a great complusion to spend less time thinking and communicating. It’s just not even enough to feel passionately about all that needs to be done. It’s time to do. What do you say? Even better, what do you do?