your life is none of your business

09 Aug

I’ve learned over the years it has nothing to do with me.
My life is none of my business.
It’s all in the hands of God.

A bit more Hopkins wisdom from that Q&A session with students I posted about earlier.

still can't call him "Tony"

still can’t call him “Tony”

“My life is none of my business.”

You could hear a small wave of laughter in the audience, and then he repeated it. And I “rewound” to hear it again myself.

“I’ve learned over the years it has nothing to do with me. My life is none of my business. It’s all in the hands of God. Your life is none of your business.”

Hopkins had spoken of a time of crisis in his own life where he came to terms with life as it is, commenting on the frenetic energy with which so many work so hard to make things happen.

Stop it.

Your life is none of your business. It has nothing to do with you.

Spending yesterday at a simulcast of the Willow Creek Global Leadership Summit and listening to the likes of Bill Hybels and Colin Powell, I realized a common link with listening to Hopkins talk about life and his acting career: that wondrous voice of the wisdom from experience. There was an energetic performance by a young man or two on that stage yesterday – and actually quite the energetic performance by one not so young that made me feel calm and collected by comparison. The passion communicated through such energetic performances tend to bring people to their feet, but there is something that settles in much deeper through the quiet wisdom of experience.

And that’s what I heard in Hopkins.

Your life is none of your business.

Images of Noah’s ark again with its complete lack of rudder and steering wheel.

Visions of Phil Vischer with his collapsed driven young energetic dream of Veggietales and his Big Idea corporation with his Big Hairy Audacious Goal of becoming the Christian Disney and Pixar…and in the ashes of it all coming up with a new venture. Jellyfish.

jellyfishJellyfish, you see, don’t wake up in the morning with the ambitious goal, the BHAG of “I’m going to Hawaii, come hell or high water, I’m going to Hawaii!”


Jellyfish are carried by a current and all they can do it propel themselves a little bit up and a little bit down within that current.

Vischer refused to come up with another Big Hairy Ambitious Goal for the next ten years of his life, having learned, with Hopkins, that we are more like human jellyfish than driven speedboats or Titanics taking on the deep blue sea.

We are simultaneously propelled and carried. Like the writers of Holy Writ we are borne about here and there wherever the Spirit takes us. The author or authors of Isaiah didn’t set out to write a monumental literary piece that would stand for the ages. They picked up a pen and then were borne.

The wind blows where it wills, says Christ. You hear the sound of it but don’t know where it is coming from or where it is going. And so is everyone who is born of the Spirit.

blown away lisa

But we prefer something much more hands on, don’t we? More specifically our hands on. We are much more cozy in the company of the hands on entrepreneurs described by James – “We will go to such and such a city, spend a year there, buy and sell, and make a profit…” Such passionate, driven energy brings us to our feet with applause as we arise to build our own towering achievements, making a name, and a profit, for ourselves. Who has time to linger for another wise elder’s commentary: “You don’t even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? It is a vapor. Smoke carried by winds beyond your control and calculations.”

Your life is none of your business.

There might seem to be a tension between our propelling ourselves and our being carried on currents we don’t control. But really it’s more of a rhythmic dance, isn’t it? Jellyfish don’t seem very stressed by such tensions. They just move within the flow.

And while I’m not calling Hopkins a jellyfish, that’s the movement I was hearing in his words and seeing evidenced in his life.

Your life is none of your business. It has nothing to do with you.

Perhaps you and I will live long enough to learn that too.


Posted by on August 9, 2013 in Faith, haverings, musings


Tags: , , , , , , ,

2 responses to “your life is none of your business

  1. jaywindwalker

    August 9, 2013 at 2:59 pm

    Excellent post! My father in-law’s favorite saying to his daughters when they were stressing over where they were in their life and where they wanted to be was, “Your life is no one’s business but God’s, not even you have a say.”

  2. wordhaver

    August 11, 2013 at 1:18 pm

    Thank you, Jay! So much wisdom here.


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