A Whole Lot O’ Nothin…


I called my dad on my way home from work today. I decided that my life wasn’t complicated enough, that I would use my only sanctuary (my car) to, not relax and de-stress from the craziness of the day – no, I was going to use that time to catch up on all of the calls I hadn’t been able to do at any other time in my busy days… Go ahead, say it “Hopkins, you are plain nuts”

Anyway, I called him, and he hit me with the question that just stopped me in my tracks…

So, what’s going on?

I had just come from I don’t know how many meetings, about 100 or so emails, rescheduling 1:1’s with my staff, preparing for the next day’s meetings, planning the night of sermon writing, meeting prep, scheduling running training and other such things flooding my mind, and what was my answer?


I couldn’t think of anything meaningful to tell him. Did I just think that he wouldn’t be interested in all the wild and crazy things I had to deal with? Or maybe I didn’t think those things were of any real interest to me… Dunno, still trying to figure it out. I decided to take the safe route, and talk about the kids. Grandparents are always up to hearing about grandkids. Whew! I got out of that one… I really gotta plan those phone calls better. How dare I call and have nothing to talk about! (that’s how I’m beating myself up. I’m sure there’s some therapy out there for me – chocolate therapy, or Rose Milk tea therapy or something 🙂 )

I started thinking about what “nothing” would really look like. The more I thought about it, the more I realized that sometimes, “nothing” is pretty valuable. I remember as a kid watching Multiplication Rock, and one of my favorite (ok, I really liked them all) was “My Hero Zero”. Not because I liked zero all that much, but I just liked the song. But the story is just as good – Zero starts out as, well, nothing, but you add zero to any number, and you multiply it by 10… that’s pretty cool.

So, I’m thinking about what would happen if I added “nothing” to certain aspects of my life (doesn’t that sound weird?). For me, that can be turning off the music while I drive, and just sitting in silence. Maybe not turning on the news in the morning to see the traffic (it will only stress me out anyway). Maybe it’s coming home and not working for once. Just sitting down and experiencing my family (whoever is home… they are all just as crazy busy as me).

When I was a tiny tyke, one of my mom’s favorite memories of me was that I would go in the kitchen, take all the pots and pans out of one of the bottom cabinets, climb in and shut the door, and just sit there. I could do that for hours. My mom would check on me every now and then, ask me if I was ok, to which I would just nod. She would shut the door, and we were both fine. I’m thinking I had something there…

Maybe that’s what the whole Sabbath rest thing is all about: dialing back, rejuvenating, stopping to smell the roses, all that. It’s amazing how different people look when you see them for more than a split second.

So, the next time you may ask me “what’s up?” I may tell you “Nothin”, and really mean it. And there’s nothing wrong with nothing…

13 Replies to “A Whole Lot O’ Nothin…”

  1. I have discovered when I add “nothin'” to my life I am more present, and feel, and experience the Presence of the Spirit of Life, God, more. It is a space, a place I can breath, hang out and just…BE. In that state of BEING I become more aware of what is around me, the beauty and richness of it all. I find gratitude, and praise, love, and when I am ready to stand back up, I find I bring all of it with me.

    I also love to just drive nowhere in particular. What are you actually doing while the vehicle is moving? You are sitting, relaxed, but still in control of the vehicle while it moves through space at so many miles per hour. That is how I try to live my life, seeing that while I am busy driving my vehicle, my body, I try to remember that my spirit is at rest within it, kickin’ back, enjoying the ride. 🙂

    1. Ok, I have been reading and pondering and musing and reading this since you posted it… each time I am more blown away by the awesome of it all. I’m trying to take it all in, and I get more and more from it… I’m looking forward to just sitting and pondering it some more 🙂

      1. A friend of mine wrote to me recently saying, “Spirit is truly Magnificent. And so are we in it.” Amen.

        Wouldn’t it be nice to sit on a porch, or take a drive together, and ponder and appreciate the Wonder of it All together? It is a nice thought :).

  2. I like that! 😀 I try not to be too busy, but every once in a while things just come up. I’ll have to keep this in mind when that happens. 🙂

  3. I know exactly what you mean about sometimes “nothing” being the easy answer AND ALSO that there’s nothing wrong with “nothing” being an okay thing to be! Sometimes when my life gets pretty crazy, I wish I could have amnesia, just for a day…. Now maybe I realize there MAY be a way….I’m going to contemplate your “kitchen cabinet plan.” I agree with Tisa, time to find a bigger cabinet to crawl into!

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