Something From Nothing

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On the last day of summer vacation, we saw Christopher Robin. My too cool “big kids” agreed to go with skepticism since it’s Winnie the Pooh and Eeyore and all the lovable Hundred Acre Wood gang. All the lovable favorites are there, but this time Christopher Robin takes the starring role. He’s all grown-up and has put the whole imaginary childhood play world behind him Now he’s moved on to big city business and pleasing a boss who may never be pleased.

One weekend when a do or die deadline looms, he has a surprise encounter with Winnie the Pooh. Christopher’s world suddenly reawakens to the wonder of the moment and he’s reminded of the value in life’s basics; friendship, family, time and space to pause. As they reconnect, Christopher Robin’s overwhelming busyness becomes evident and Pooh reminds him that, “doing nothing often leads to the very best kind of something.”

These are the words I’ve been stuck on ever since that bear full of fluff spoke them.

Pooh once again proved himself to be a wise philosopher. His summation explains why the very best ideas I have come to me in the shower, or folding laundry, or stirring soup on the stove.

It’s the explanation for the creative process I saw in Asher’s eyes this summer when we were sitting on the banks of the Merced River at Yosemite. Just as my tween was about to ask for the hundredth time when we were going to leave, some strand of nothing in his mind turned into an elaborate video sequence he decided to choreograph. We spent the next hour acting out his something that came from nothing and in the process experienced one of my favorite memories from the two weeks we spent on the road.

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While that afternoon of doing nothing led to something physically productive, the next afternoon of relaxing by the Merced River led to “nothing” other than resting next to my favorite guy, delighting in the joy our kids were having while splashing in the river.

Whether or not the nothing leads to something, there is value even in the being still and letting our maxed-out distracted brains take a moment to wonder.

Beyond the creative process in my inner-self, there is even greater value in these quiet “nothing” moments to hear the voice of my Creator. These are the soft and increasingly rare moments of quiet when the doing nothing leads to an opening up to God’s ability to speak and do “something” in my spirit.

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Doing nothing doesn’t have to happen on a vacation miles away from home. It might take a vacation from the distractions we find on our phones and it might mean moments of feeling unproductive. The opportunity is there, the intentionality is the part I can choose.

I won’t spoil the end of the movie, but you may guess Christopher Robin takes Pooh’s advice. It’s a moment of doing nothing that leads to a break-through in Christopher’s business. He rediscovers the joy of wonder and even leads his family to also explore the somethings from nothing.

"Doing nothing often leads to the very best kind of something."