Who are you? What are you doing here? - JJ Landis
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who are you

Who are you? What are you doing here?


The questions have stayed with on a loop in my brain since I first heard Rob Bell pose them on a podcast last week: Who are you? What are you doing here?


Some days, I wake up and begin pushing a boulder up a hill, only to have it crush me. Pervasive anxious thoughts of never being finished, caught up, or satisfied are in my head.


The particulars of life – grocery shopping, cooking, washing clothes, packing lunches, mopping the floor, planning for this, planning for that, checking children’s grades (that are available in near real-time online), staying in touch with family and friends, reading the unrelenting news on the internet, keeping up with kids’ schedules, putting out fires all around me – seem to be more problematic than profitable some days.


Those times when the day-to-day is arduous and deflating are typically the times when I’m seeing lots of paint strokes but am not aware they make up a whole painting.


Who am I? What am I doing here?


Am I really a laundry folder? Am I a sandwich maker? A present buyer?


Of course not. But when I focus on the drudgery of making six sandwiches every morning, and I think I am nothing more than a lunch packer, I get grouchy.


That is short-sighted. I am not my details. I am a whole. If my eyes do not move beyond one word on a page, I miss the story. When I bemoan the splinter in my finger, I forget my healthy body and all the days there was not a splinter in my finger. Who am I? What am I doing here? Surely I’m more than a word. A finger.


When the keen focus on a single unremarkable stone blurs my view of the magnificent mosaic, I lose out on miraculous, ridiculous beauty.




Who am I? What am I doing here?


The more I fixate on the mundane, the struggles, the earthly, the more I will miss and long for the big picture, the divine.


There is more to me than the tedium. When I breathe and look around, I see the whole, glorious picture of life. When I retreat and reflect, I inhale the colors of perspective and compassion. I exhale peace and reclaim priorities. To realize the whole, I gladly perform within each piece of my life. Each task, each word, each movement, each breath is important.


Who are you? What are you doing here?

Mosaic photo by Federica Diliberto

  • peggyz
    Posted at 15:04h, 08 December Reply

    LOVE!! Very talented! Also, a great, creative explanation of life using the mosaic !!

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