30 May 2014


PlayFull board member Doreen Olson passed this reflection on the other day. Thanks, Doreen! The subtitle says it’s right up PlayFull’s alley: “A Playfully Serious Reflection.” The article speaks for itself. Keep playing, friends, and thank you for reading!  --Troy


BooBoo-Be-Do: Three Elements of a Faith Journey
A Playfully Serious Reflection From Sarah Maker

If I were to sum up elements of a faith journey in one phrase, it would be “BooBoo-Be-Do.” Let me explain.

As children, when we fall down and scrape our knees, our caregivers teach us that we have a “booboo.” We naturally reach out to our caregivers for comfort. As we grow, we continue to experience booboos, although we learn to call them injuries, or painful situations. As we mature, we also grow in self-sufficiency, and reach out less to others, including God, for help. Yet there are times, no matter our age, when we need help from God and others. For example, at some point, we may experience difficult health, parenting, relationship or vocational issues. Perhaps these challenges--booboo experiences--will return us to our knees, only this time in prayer to God for help. Jesus understands such situations well. He knows that the strange “gift” of a booboo is its capacity to open our hearts, and till its fertile soil, so that we prepare for something new. Jesus actually tells us that he comes to heal those in need, not those who think they have it all together. (Luke 5:31)

Question: Is there a “booboo”/challenge you are keeping to yourself? What blocks you from sharing it with God, with trusted others? What helps you open to others’ support?

Once a booboo experience happens, we enter a time of being. I believe this small word--BE--offers the biggest challenge to many of us on our faith journeys. Christians might experience this time of being as Holy Saturday time--the time between the death of Jesus and his resurrection. It’s an uncomfortable time of “not knowing” what’s coming next. The “gift” of this time might be the opportunity to actively wait, and cultivate an attitude of being. Such a statement reminds me of how I used to think of the Beatitudes as a child. (Matthew 5:1-12) For the longest time, I thought this phrase was “Be Attitude.” To this day, whenever I hear the term Beatitude, I hear it as a call to consider how we are to be, not do. How do we cultivate our Be Attitude? 

Perhaps Eugene Peterson’s translation of the oft quoted passage “be still and know” may offer some insight. In The Message, Peterson translates this phrase in the following way: “Attention, all! See the marvels of God! [who] plants flowers and trees all over the earth...Step out of the traffic! Take a long, loving look at me, your High God...above everything.” (Psalm 46:8-10, sel.) This translation suggests a clear link between our ability to marvel and our ability to be. It appears that noticing something beautiful, like trees and flowers, is akin to paying attention to God. The result? We gain renewed perspective and energy for our doing. No longer stuck in a metaphorical line of traffic, we experience more freedom, creativity, and energy for doing.

Question: What causes you to marvel? What might help you marvel more often?

After a booboo reintroduces us to our need for space to be, with self, God, and others, we enter a time of doing. This type of doing, however, is not the mindless “addicted to hurry” kind of doing that Kirk Jones describes in his book by that title. Rather, it is the doing that flows from the marvelous soil of our souls, tilled and prepared during our Holy Saturday time of actively waiting and being with, in, and around God. 

As the description in Mark 4:3-8 details, the seeds of doing that take root and flourish are the ones that fall on the nutrient rich soil--the sometimes stinking mulch of our booboos and fitful bouts of struggling to just be. Out of that faithful journey grows beautiful hearts, minds and hands for God’s joyful service in our mysteriously broken and beautiful world.

Question: How would you describe your doing? Where does your energy for action come from?

I invite you to say the phrase “BOO BOO BE DO” out loud several times. It’s a funny phrase, a tongue twister even. You, like me, may laugh out loud. Humor is definitely a way to marvel, step out of the traffic, and allow wiggle room for God’s grace to flow through us into our doing. Blessed be your booboos, being and doing! Amen.

As always, I invite you to share any thoughts or practice you find helpful on your own faith journey(s), or that this reflection may have sparked for you. Blessings on the journey!



*This article was part of a newsletter put out May 2014 by Lumunos, an organization that “provides ways for you to reflect on your lives, connect with what matters most and discover your next steps. Lumunos inspires you to listen to your story and find faith and light for your journey.” Visit their website at lumunos.org to find out more.

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