Being and Becoming

Being and Becoming March 30, 2021

Photo by Marcus Aurelius from Pexels

“Everything flows and nothing abides; everything gives way, and nothing stays fixed.  You cannot step twice into the same river, for other waters and yet others, go flowing on.”[1]   Heraclitus, 500 B. C.

If you listened to me recently, you have heard me talk about being.  My new book, Being: A Journey Toward Presence and Authenticity will be released May 4th.  I intentionally made a move from being a doer, which seemed to validate me to a way of being and becoming that has less certainty but seems to be a more authentic way forward.

I love to think about nature and plants.  Occasionally, I like to grow sprouts to incorporate into my diet because of the health benefits.  Each sprout is packed with nutrients at an astonishing level.  But the other thing that impresses me is the way each little seed of alfalfa or broccoli knows what to become.  All I do is keep it wet and, in a few days, it becomes a small plant.

As we begin to learn more and more about the atomic and sub-atomic levels or cells and as we investigate DNA, we see this intelligence and even communication at the smallest of levels and it’s more fascinating the further we go down.

Maybe we made a mistake when we said we were made in the image of God and imagined that as a being that is like us but just a little more perfect.  I’m more inclined these days to think of the Divine being in everything.  In other words, maybe it’s more about things like DNA that it is about something out there. 

Technically, when we talk about being, we can’t really say that presence is being right here where we are, because time is always flowing forward like a river.  It’s a shame because I spent 50 years coming up with the phrase, “be where you are, be who you are,” and being where we may be more of flow than a fixed position.  But when we are present, we flow more with the river than paddling upstream.

The other part of my statement states, “be who you are,” and is about authenticity.  When we try to be like something or someone else, we are unable to grow into the thing that we were meant to be.  We are like a broccoli seed trying to be alfalfa.  Deep down in the subatomic levels of our being, our bodies already know what we are and what we are becoming.

I long to join with that flow and be present and authentic.

I hope others will join me in the process of being and becoming.

We are not just seeds; we are also potential plants.  But we are also like future seeds for scores of potential plants and seeds and all different forms of matter that will be and become all kinds of different things.  Take a minute just to marvel in that and let that be your starting place for being and becoming.

Be where you are, be who you are,

Karl Forehand


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Karl Forehand is a former pastor, podcaster, and award-winning author. His books include Apparent Faith: What Fatherhood Taught Me About the Father’s Heart and The Tea Shop. He is the creator of The Desert Sanctuary podcast. He is married to his wife Laura of 32 years and has one dog named Winston. His three children are grown and are beginning to multiply!

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