Friday, July 07, 2017

Being Is More Important than Doing or Having


The good parent loves their child not for what the child can give them, but simply because this is their child. Their child, as a baby, can give them nothing in terms of productivity. The baby has no material goods that benefit them. The baby adds no value in terms of its doing and having.

Their baby can, and should, give them joy. But their joy will
not be because of what the child produces or has. To the contrary, their work load and responsibilities drastically increase. Now, more than ever, their individual lives are less their own.

Whatever worth the child has is only in its being. Not in its doing. Not in its having. This is how God loves us.

When we go alone to a quiet place to pray, God will reveal his love to us. God loves us not for what we bring to the table, not for what we do, and not for what we have. We possess no instrinsic good that God needs. God doesn't need us. This is God's independence. (See Wayne Grudem, Systematic Theology, on the incommunicable attributes of God). This is important.

Henri Nouwen writes: "It is in this solitude that we discover that being is more important than having, and that we are worth more than the results of our efforts." (Nouwen,
The Only Necessary Thing, 43)

Over the years, as I have been privileged to read and respond to the spiritual journals of pastors and Christian leaders, I have seen God tell them, "I love you." I experience this myself. God's love sustains me. In his spiritual journal former General Secretary of the United Nations Dag Hammarskjold wrote, "reputation increases, ability decreases." God's love sustains me as I grow older, since whatever miniscule human abilities I had are wasting away.

When the music fades. When all has slipped away. What then shall I do? We simply come. We discover that God loves us for who we are.

In the God-relationship 
being is more important than doing or having. This truth is impossible to grasp in the Consumer Church.