Thursday, March 05, 2009

Absent from our Own Existence.

Some people simply miss life in the present due to spending too much time on the past or the future. While this is true, I think many more in our current age, miss much of life in the busyness of the present. This has often been the case for me. I very rarely, if ever grovel in the past or fret over the future. Rather, I find myself so busy in the present, that I can be prone to not be present there. In the midst of moving briskly from one thing to another I can bypass the deep currents of my heart, the sacredness of a moment and the whisper of God’s voice. Such busyness causes our hearts to become calloused. We become absent from our own existence.

This is a reality that I’ve wrestled with for the past several years. I've written several posts dealing with our enchantment and addiction to speed, how we need to Learn to Pause and learn to live in Slow-Motion. I know God is present and actively involved in my day and I long to grow more and more in my attentiveness, awareness and response to it. Over the past four or five years, I’ve been learning to halt and take notice in times of busyness, especially times where I find the very word “busy” being my patent answer to those who inquire, “How’s it going?”. Wayne Muller in his book “Sabbath: Finding Rest, Renewal and Delight in our Busy Lives,” reminds us how the ancient Chinese saw the poisonous effects of busyness. The Ancient Chinese have long had insight into this that the West has yet to discover. The ancient Chinese pictograph for the word busy is made up of the symbols/pictures heart and killing.

This image has been a reoccurring visual for me in these seasons. It's a powerful image, a reminder of what’s happening deep inside when I simply don’t live in “slow motion” with space to capture God’s movements and the essence of the one before me.

In these moments, more and more, I’ve learned when I engage, I truly become more attentive and aware. Though I can still be prone to move at the speed of life, I’ve become significantly more discerning of when I’m doing so, enabling me to slow-down and actually experience life itself.

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