I’m a doer.
Not only do I feel pretty darn good about myself when things get checked off my “to do” list, it actually gives me a weird high and offers a really tangible grid for success.
Interestingly, once I get stuff done, I almost immediately turn to the next thing to get done.
The list could go on and on.
I’ve been studying the Enneagram a lot lately, which is a unique (and ancient) tool for understanding how you’re hardwired to function in the world. I’m a “3” on the Enneagram, which is known as the “achiever” or “performer.” In short, I’m designed to do stuff.
This can be really good and really bad.
While I can make things happen, contribute to long-term movement, and rally folks around a vision, I can also overwork, form my identity around the things I do rather than who I am and, in the end, miss out on the sacredness of being present in the beautiful mundane of everyday.
This is an important realization (and a hard one!) and I’m having to do a little extra evaluation of it in my current season of life with nearly four kids, a non-profit, and a household that requires the attention of a Fortune 500 CEO.
I was recently on a walk to the park with my girls Ruby (4) and Rosie (2). While I was distractedly responding to an email on my “smart” phone, I looked over and noticed that Rosie had fallen behind and was bent over staring at the ground. As I circled back around to speed her up, I noticed that she was looking at a crack in the sidewalk admiring the little twig that was sprouting between the concrete slabs.
For her, she wasn’t at all concerned about arriving at a destination, but about being fully present along the way. In this tiny twig, Rosie found beauty and she wasn’t about to miss it.
I was at a conference this past weekend and one of the speakers (Rob Bell) shared a rich insight that completely ruined me (in all the best kind of ways). He said, “Success means you wake up and ask what you can get. Wonder means you wake up and say, I can’t believe I get to do this.”
Head and heart explosion.
In the midst of the seemingly endless “to do’s” of life, it’s easy to miss the beauty and wonder. There are insurance calls, diapers to change, mortgage/rent payments, dentist appointments, deadlines, dirty dishes, and emails to respond to.
Yes, that stuff has to get done, but friends, it will get done.
Maybe there is a way to get all this stuff done and not miss out on opportunities to wonder. Opportunities to be fully alive to ourselves, the world, and those around us. Opportunities to be reminded that we aren’t what we do, but who we are.
Maybe when we release our addiction to doing, we can begin being the types of people the world needs most.
When I slow down long enough to look at my life, I can honestly say, “I can’t believe I get to do this.”
May we wonder.
Jon Huckins is the Co-Founding Director of The Global Immersion Project, which cultivates everyday peacemakers through immersion in global conflict. He has written two books, Teaching Through the Art of Storytelling and Thin Places: Six Postures for Creating and Practicing Missional Community. Jon has a master’s degree from Fuller Theological Seminary, lives in San Diego with his wife and two daughters and is active on his neighborhood council and in running the local farmer's market. Jon blogs at jonhuckins.net. Follow him on Twitter @jonhuckins.
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