11.13.2011

Missionary Positions: Doing it by doing nothing.

Today's contribution to Missionary Positions comes from Sandra, the chick with the coolest hair on Twitter. I love what she brings to the conversation:
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The Do-Nothing Missionary

Everyone once in a while I’ll schedule a do-nothing day. I’ll literally walk over to the calendar—the one I’m usually too busy to update—and write, nay, DECREE a do-nothing day. Once it’s written, that date is as immovable as my lazy bum on a do-nothing day.

All the energy typically be spent running frantic from one obligation to another is spent simply being. The “look good, feel good, be right, and be in control” mask comes off. And for an entire and glorious day, I can rock my Zuul the Gatekeeper hair and hobo-esque attire and be authentic.

That’s where my mission field is. In that sweet spot of being relaxed, authentic, and, sadly, still frizzy haired—even on a do-something day. I get rid of that all-too-familiar anticipation. The kind that waits for the moment to interject some eternal truth when a friend just wants to talk about the best black and tan she’s ever had.

It’s not that I go around being as fake as the weight on my driver’s license. It’s just, I don’t want to be a loner, Dottie. No one does, for that matter.

We’ve each, to some degree, developed the socially acceptable self (the one that talks about the weather and how work is going and how the kids are doing) and hidden the real self (the one that says gray days make them sad and work is fleeting compared to your passion and the kids are slipping away because you’re never there).

Strutting our socially acceptable selves seems especially common among believers, where we feel the pressure to make disciples of all nations, and teach them the ways, and have the joy, joy, joy, joy down in our hearts.

But you know what I discovered?

In my effort to make disciples of my nonbelieving friends, I identified them as nonbelieving rather than simply my friend.

In my effort to teach them the ways, I told them the ways and disagreed with theirs.

In my effort to have that joy, joy, joy in my heart, I hidden the sad, sad, sadness that sometimes creeps in.

I was douchey. And completely unrelatable. (‘Cause, really. Who wants to relate to a douche?)

So on my calendar, and in my heart, I’ve decreed a do-nothing day mentality all day every day. Because when I see my friends as separate from their beliefs, they feel accepted. When I stop trying to convince people of my beliefs, they feel at ease. (Quite contrary to my get-paid-to-do-this mission of apologetics, by the way.) And when I share my sufferings with others, they feel safe to do the same.

In other words, my mission is to do nothing. Just be.


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Want more? You can follow Sandra's musings on the Twitter machine. Trust me, you'll love her!


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When was your last "Do Nothing Day"?

Ever considered adopting a "do nothing" attitude toward discipleship and evangelism? 

*On a side note*  If I wasn't so chicken-shit, I would totally do something amazing with my hair. Maybe on my next (first?) do-nothing day, I'll man up and go crazy.