Being before Doing

David-the-Artist-Pastor introduced me to the phrase "being before doing." That phrase has played in my head a lot recently.

In talking with my 20-year-old son this week, he had some big decisions to make. I realized in speaking with him that I didn't need to give him any advice on "what to do" because of who he has grown up to be.

Chase is an incredibly deep person with wisdom and a strong faith. Our conversations focused on questions about what he wanted...about what would be an adventure to him. (Adventures are important when you are twenty.) We didn't touch on what he "should" do.

Carol Childress talked to me once about life being improv. Life is uncertain. There is no script to follow. Actors who are gifted at improv, don't memorize lines. They simply develop characters and train to become better actors. Then, when onstage, it doesn't matter what happens. They simply fall into character and act. If they are good, this has more magical results than if they had a script.

It occurs to me that most of my 20-year-old thoughts focused on "what to do." A few weekends ago at our girls reunion some of our deepest conversation centered around the idea that we were all taught that if we followed a certain path then we would get a perfect life. Now at 40, we've all learned that simply isn't true.

I wish we'd been taught more about "becoming." That the focus hadn't been so much on following a perfect prescripted path, but on becoming who we were God-designed to be so we could each follow our unique purpose.

Because of who he has become, I was able to tell Chase this week that what his heart wanted was a good cue for what he should do.

Life isn't scripted, nor is there a single way to live it. The beautiful diversity of talents and happenings and opportunities is something to be explored and enjoyed. Just like with actors, musicians focus on becoming better musicians. Then, it doesn't matter what the music is. They can play it.

And better yet, enjoy it.

And the magic beyond that? Those around them enjoy it too.
© Random Cathy
Maira Gall