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Wednesday, February 05, 2014

Sometimes the best thing to do is to do nothing

When a difficult circumstance comes our way, we instinctively reach out to do everything we can, while we can with what we have to bring resolution to the trial.

Sometimes, however, the best thing to do is to do nothing (especially when you don't know what to do).  Sometimes the old adage, "doing something is better than nothing," doesn't hold true.

Henri Nouwen has written:

The Flying Rodleighs are trapeze artist who perform in the German circus Simoneit-Barum.  When the circus came to Freiburg two years ago, my friends, Frank and Reny invited me and my father to see the show.  I will never forget how enraptured I became when I first saw the Rodleighs move through the air, flying and catching as elegant dancers (Gradually, the Rodleighs and I) became good friends.

One day, I was sitting with Rodleigh, the leader of the troupe, in his caravan, talking about flying.  He said, "As a flyer, I must have complete trust in my catcher.  The public might think that I am the great star of the trapeze, but the real star is Joe, my catcher.  He has to be there for me with split-second precision and grab me out of the air as I come to him in the long jump"

"How does it work?" I asked. 

"The secret," Rodliegh said, "is that the flyer does nothing and the catcher does everything.  When I fly to  Joe, I have simply to stretch out my arms and hands and wait for him to catch me and pull me safely over the apron behind the catchbar."

"you do nothing!"  I said, surprised.

"Nothing," Rodleigh repeated.  "The worst thing the flyer can do is to try to catch the catcher.  I am not supposed to catch Joe.  It's Joe's task to catch me.  If I grabbed Joe's writes, I might break them, or he  might break mine, and that would be the end for both of us.  A flyer must fly and a catcher must catch, and the flyer must trust with outstretched arms, that this catcher will be there for him."

Are you in a difficult situation today?

Sometimes the best thing to do in a difficult situation is to do nothing - and to trust in God.

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