In Praise of Doing Nothing

The only card games we were allowed to play when I was small were Authors and Old Maid.  To even have a conventional deck of cards in the house was opening the door to perdition.  So you can imagine the moral issues that arose when we got our first computer and there was Solitaire.  In the secret of the night after our sons had gone to bed I caved into temptation.  What I discovered was its hypnotic mind numbing way of making time pass.  When one is on the telephone listening to someone go on and on about their whatevers and you only have to say “uh hu” (Help me.  How do you spell that?  I’m sure you know what I mean.) you can listen and play Solitaire.

At this point I should speak of the tragedy of wasting time.  Time is precious.  That was another thing about my childhood.  I heard that God was going to hold us accountable for every minute of our lives and therefore we better not waste a moment.  Really?   That idea turned people into workaholics with no time to savor anything.  It made some people neurotic and others just gave up and decided to go to hell for doing nothing.

Today I sat and did nothing other than watch a rose breasted grosbeak at our bird feeder with a wood thrush in the woods a few feet away serenading me.  There were chipmunks on the ground under the bird feeder and a cat bird bathing in the bird bath.  I didn’t read.  I didn’t memorize Scripture.  I didn’t sing songs.  I just sat and watched.  It was great.

I am so thankful God gave me a mind to use to do nothing.  It was grand!

Written by Roger Bothwell on July 17, 2014

Spring of Life, PO Box 124, St. Helena, CA 94574