I will never forget what happened last night.
My Grandpa Maxey lived in Louisville, Kentucky for most of his life. Somewhere in his Kentucky existence he picked up a line, “You gotta’ be where the bein’ is.”
I wrote about this in my book, Running on Empty. Here’s a brief excerpt:
So often in life we are in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Behind the school bus when you’re late for work.
You rush out to the local convenience store to pick up a package of much-needed diapers only to encounter a line that stretches out the door of people buying lottery tickets for that night’s drawing.
We’re in the “20 items or fewer Cash Only” lane at the grocery store behind someone with 54 items who can’t seem to find their credit card.
Sometimes we are in the right place at the wrong time.
You arrive at the bank ready to deposit your much needed paycheck only to find it’s closed for Columbus Day.
You meet some friends at your favorite Chinese restaurant for lunch only to find that the health inspectors have beaten you there and closed it down.
You finally get home from work–by way of the gym—but your son is already in bed and you missed hearing about the problem he had in class today with a bully, and you missed helping him learn how to write a cursive “Z”, and you missed kissing him on the forehead moments before he drifted off to sleep.
Sometimes though we are in the wrong place at the right time.
The time is “right” to be home with your family, but you’re in the wrong place returning email to strangers.
The time is “right” to be wresting with your kids on the living room floor, but you’re in the wrong place fighting for a business deal to please a boss who plans on letting you go.
The time is “right” to be talking with your spouse about a problem in your marriage, but you’re in the wrong place talking about your spouse to a friend.
The time is “right” to be sitting with your family in Church, but you’re more interested in walking around a golf-course hitting a little white ball into a plastic cup.
So much of our life can be spent working far away from where life is. Where we are is often not where we should be.
Yes, I said, “should be.” Pack your bags—we’re going on a guilt trip.
“Should be” is the place we feel guilty about not being.
We make one last phone call before leaving, when we should be at home eating pork chops and applesauce with our family. We go to work early when we should be leaning over our kids’ bed saying, “It’s time to get up.” We turn the T.V. on when we should be talking to our family about stuff. We sit at the computer pointlessly surfing the web, or answering one more e-mail, when we should be chatting with our neighbor about how terrible the Home Owner’s Association is, how to kill chinch bugs in St. Augustine grass, how the weather changes every 15 minutes, or what it takes to keep a marriage from falling apart.
My Grandpa Maxey was a wise man. His life was both humble and significant. He was a brilliant man, but never advertised his credentials. Grandpa was just smart and said a lot of things that are now permanently a part of my family’s lexicon. He was better than smart—he was wise.
One of the phrases he said that I still say today is, “You gotta’ be where the bein’ is.”
(It might help you if you say this phrase with a bit of a country accent.)
“Bein’ where the bein’ is” is one of the key elements of an abundant life. It’s being at the right place at the right time. This takes discernment.
Last night, the NACC was where the bein’ was.
I will always be grateful to have been where Jeff Walling delivered the message he delivered last night. He is a gifted communicator and instrument of peace.
I will always be grateful to have been where Jeff Walling & Dave Stone (and many other Church leaders) exchanged Bibles as a sign of Christian Unity.
I will always be grateful to have been where we sang the Lord’s Prayer afterwards while countless tears of joy streamed down thousands of faces.
I will always be grateful to have been where key leaders from the Independent Christian Churches and Churches of Christ came together–again–for an evening with hopes of coming together again forever.
I will always be grateful to have been where the bein’ was, which–last night–just happened to be the Grand Ballroom of the Kentucky International Convention Center in Louisville, Kentucky.