29 Jun 2019
Now that summer is upon us, we can turn our back on those frosty days of winter. I like winter as long as it is in the past tense. Otherwise, all that cold tenses me up something terrific. Now that summer is upon me, I can sit back, relax and enjoy those crazy, lazy days of summer.
My plans for the summer have already been established. I have a little notebook with all the things I plan to do during the summer. If someone were to open that little notebook, they will find, much to their surprise, not a thing written on any page.
That is precisely my plan. I plan to do nothing during the summer.
This is a relatively new strategy on my part. Every time I plan to do something, it never turns out right. In fact, if I plan to go right everything turns around and I end up going left. Therefore, my ingenious plan is to plan the opposite of what I really want to do. After all, it cannot be any worse than what I have been doing up to now.
I have been dreaming about the luxury of doing absolutely nothing for the summer. I have no personal goals to achieve. I have no projects needing completion. I have only one goal for the entire summer and that is to do nothing.
For this nefarious plan of mine to be successful, I will need to avoid the wife for the entire summer. If she was in the living room I would make sure, I was out in the garage. If she were out on the porch, I would be in the bathroom. I had this all worked out in my head long before Spring came to its finale.
For weeks now, I have been busy planning my summer's spree of non-activity. Within a matter of time, some strange thought horned in on my serenity. For some reason I hit a snag in my planning. I thought I had everything worked out. Then I noticed something strange about this new strategy of mine. That is, it is quite hard to plan to do nothing.
For example, if I plan to go fishing I know what equipment I need to lay out and what clothes I need to wear. If I am planning to go on a vacation, I know what to pack and I know the clothes to put in the suitcase and so forth. But, how do you plan to do nothing?
When I first thought of this plan, it seemed like such an easy thing to do. Something natural for a person like me. My problem was, what clothes do I need to put on when I am planning to do nothing? What kind of equipment do I need? And, should I pack a lunch?
I decided to pack a lunch anyway.
It is only one week into the summer and I have found myself to be a little stressed. My plan was to do nothing but I am not sure what that means.
When you do nothing, what exactly are you doing or not doing? Boy, do I need a philosopher today. (Where is Dr. Phil when you need him?) And I suppose the biggest question is, how do you define nothing?
To define nothing, you have to say something, and something certainly is not nothing. So how do I know when I am doing nothing? If I do anything, does it cancel out my goal of nothing?
To show how desperate I was, I decided to ask the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage.
"How do I know when I'm doing nothing?" I asked her.
She looked at me with one of those strange looks I have become so familiar with and just stared at me for a few moments. Then with both hands firmly placed on her hips, she answered me.
"It is simply this. You are doing nothing when you are not doing what I asked you to do." Then she produced a thick notebook of things she wanted me to do. A “to-do-list,” if you please, for the summer.
It was at that point that it hit me. The only way you can do nothing is if you have something to do. If I don't have anything to do, there is nothing I can do. But if I have something to do and do not do it I am, in fact, doing nothing.
I surprised my wife by taking her to-do-list and clutching it to my bosom. I said to her with a smile, “Thank you for solving my summer problem.” With that, I walked off quite cheerfully, knowing that with this list in my hand, I now have a plan to do nothing for the summer. I love it when a plan comes together.
I then did something profitable. I turned to a favorite passage in the Bible. The apostle Paul knew a thing or two about doing things. Paul said, "I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me." (Philippians 4:12-13).
It may be difficult to do nothing but it is absolutely impossible to do anything without Christ.