Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Change #1, keep holy the Sabbath day

“An angel comes to Mary, Elizabeth feels a child quicken within her, Joseph has a dream, and the Wise Ones follow a star. 
We who worship at the altar of the linear and the rational easily dismiss these gentle beats of eternity and bombard the ancient stories with questions and analyses and doubts and thoughts.  We empty the stories of their mystery.  Caught in a desire to understand, we forget that you are known in ways beyond thinking.  You are heard as much in silence as in speech.  You are present in dreams and visions. 
Draw us to quiet our hyperactive minds and rest in the quiet that opens a place for you deep within.”

Remember to keep holy the Sabbath day. The commandment begins remember. Indeed, in the course of the working days, in the occupations and preoccupations of the week, we are inclined to forget God, to stop thinking about him. It is therefore necessary to set aside one day for the express purpose of thinking of him, a day to be consecrated to him, to be lived in his presence and in his awareness. We must insert a pause, suspend the course of our activities and our labors in order to place ourselves in an attitude of meditation and retreat, and to give our Master time to see and judge what we have done. This abstention, this recess, is therefore the first condition of sanctification.”

~Nike commercial

I’ve mentioned before that it takes me a long time to process life. The bigger the event or happening, the more space and time I need.  I always call it being a slow processor, but perhaps I should call it making space to be deliberate.

I strive for daily, quiet prayer as part of living a contemplative attitude in my life.

Yet I learned long ago that silence does not a contemplative make!

The business of busy-ness is alluring, enticing, permeating. It doesn’t take much effort for the little ego voices in my head to invade: I’m supposed to be busy. I should be busy. If I’m busy, I am important. If I’m busy, I matter. If I’m busy, I’ll be noticed. And without too much effort, I allow just busy-ness to take over, not simply the hours of my day—but more importantly, the space in my mind and my heart.

And opening up a deeper, bigger space for God in my life has nothing to do with time, either.

Here I am, working out of a home office, setting my own schedule—and complaining that I don’t have enough time… even to ingest the meaning of my own life.

It’s crazy talk, really.

I don’t know who said it first, but this is wisdom:
Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.

I want different a different result. I want my life to be different. I want to make more space inside me for God.

So I have decided to begin by making a few changes to my routine.   

The first step I will begin with is one that I’ve thought about for a long time, but have not acted upon.  I will be deliberate about what fills my Sunday in my desire to “remember to keep holy the Sabbath.” As part of this effort, I will unplug from electronics on Sundays, including fasting from television, my computer, Facebook, email.

I will tell you about my second step tomorrow!