Daily Riches: “Don’t Just Do Something, Stand There” (Philip Simmons, Robert Barron, and Eugene Peterson)

“… our busyness—whether of body or of mind—is often a distraction, a way of avoiding others, avoiding intimacy, avoiding ourselves. We keep busy to push back our fears, our loneliness, our self-doubt, our questions about purposes and ends. We want to know we matter, we want to know our lives are worthwhile. And when we’re not sure, we work that much harder, we worry that much more. In the face of our uncertainty, we keep busy.  …What is it, then, that restores us to a better version of ourselves, that returns us to our firm sense of goodness—both our own and the world’s? Perhaps it’s a question of grace: a reflected sunset flares in the windows of a skyscraper, a sheet of newspaper takes flight down an empty street, and suddenly we find ourselves in a world made luminous with wonder. … And so it is: the world itself can call us out of our preoccupations, our worries, our lists and agendas. In such moments our attention is arrested, quite literally stopped, and the world seems to say to us: “Don’t just do something, stand there.”  Philip Simmons

“It is a commonplace of the spiritual masters that the deepest part of the soul likes to go slow, since it seeks to savor rather than to accomplish; it wants to rest in and contemplate the good rather than to hurry off to another place.” Robert Barron

“When we are noisy and when we are hurried, we are incapable of intimacy–deep, personal, complex relationships. …like children lost in the woods, the more lost we feel, the faster we run.” Eugene Peterson

“Do not be afraid, little flock,
for your Father has been pleased
to give you the kingdom.”
Jesus in Luke 12:32

Moving From the Head to the Heart

  • Are you able to do nothing, to just “stand there” rather than “hurry off to another place?”
  • If you’re always rushing, can you begin to ask God to show you why that is?
  • Does your pace of life allow for “deep, personal, complex relationships?” for awe?

Abba, help me understand the worry and hurry that drives me. Help me stop for wonder. Restore me to a better version of myself.


*For More: Learning to Fall: The Blessings of an Imperfect Life by Philip Simmons


These “Daily Riches” are for your encouragement as you seek after God and he seeks after you. I hope you’ll follow my blog, and share it. My goal is to share something of unique value with you daily in 400 words or less. I appreciate your interest!  –  Bill (Psalm 90:14)

“I practice daily what I believe; everything else is religious talk.”