What Are You Doing Here?
That’s a question I’ve been asking a lot lately. Sometimes to others. Sometimes to myself.
At first the answers were lengthy, complicated, somewhat uncertain, and not fully explored. “What are you doing here?” prompted a lengthy response of words that communicated basically nothing (which is usually just another way of saying “I don’t know”.)
The beautiful thing about asking a question over and over, and peeling away the superfluous clutter, is that the simplest answer is usually the most authentic answer.
I’ve been living in Granada, Nicaragua for the past week, with two more weeks to go. There are some missionaries here doing some great things for Jesus. They know they have a story to communicate, and they know that people in the United States want to hear, see, feel their story. So they invited me and a girl down to tell their story.
The first few days I just followed the missionaries around, seeing what they see, meeting who they meet, doing what they do. The whole time I was asking them the question, “what are you doing here?”
Sunday I got a few hours to myself. Walking through Central Square, on my left were large, wealthy American tourists being strolled around in horse-drawn carriages. On my right were sick, weak, poor locals grasping for shade and money all at once. It was an odd contrast to be walking in the middle of. Even odder that I felt like the only one in the moment who was noticing this stark contrast. Then I asked myself, “what are you doing here?”
What am I doing in Nicaragua? Honestly, I don’t know. It all seems kinda crazy that on a Wednesday morning in February I’m sitting in a coffee shop in a third world country, taking in a breeze while being warmed by the 90 degree sun. WHAT AM I DOING HERE?
My answer: “Something.”
There are two types of people- those who do nothing and those who do something. It’s been said that the opposite of doing good isn’t doing bad, it’s doing nothing at all.
Jesus tells a parable about 3 men and the talents their master gave them. Briefly told, one man wasted his talent by burying it in the ground, doing nothing with it, basically wasting it, because he was afraid of otherwise losing it. The other two guys put their talents to good use and got some pretty good ROI for their master to share with them. What does the master say to the one who did nothing? He calls the guy a “wicked, lazy servant.” (Matthew 25: 14-30)
“Something” doesn’t have to mean going somewhere else in the world. You can do “something” right where you are. Also, like some of the tourists I’ve seen here, you can go somewhere else in the world and still do “nothing.” Doing “something” is a mindset, a heart direction, an intentional decision in your life. You can do “something” or you can do “nothing” regardless of place and circumstance.
During this season of my career transition I had too much time when I was doing nothing at all. God showed me that my main strength in this season is time. I have loads of time, for free (unless you want a web site or video. That’ll cost you.) When I look back on this moment in life I don’t want to say I wasted it. I don’t want to say I had all the time in the world and did nothing with it.
What are you doing here?
SOMETHING or NOTHING?