Eileen Turner of Newberg, OR, USA
Therefore, since we are justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have obtained access to this grace in which we stand; and we boast in our hope of sharing the glory of God. And not only that, but we also boast in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us. -Romans 5:1-5
Living an hour’s drive from church, I find myself with a great deal of time for deep thought and concentration during my two or three round trips per week. But once I learned that Ted Talks were featured on NPR Radio for my trip home on Sundays after church, I keep my dial set for their programming. One contributor’s talk was on “Deep Work.” He spoke of all the distractions that are constantly interrupting our thinking processes: distinct noises from cell phones for texts, messages, notifications, doorbells, alerts from Alexa on Amazon devices, alarms, traffic noises, etc. So with each interruption, he found he had to start over, sometimes never even getting back to all the important pieces of his project. It was at this point when he was trying to focus his energies on writing a book that he knew he needed to “unplug” himself from all devices and mechanisms that would interfere with or delay his creative process. So, he unplugged!
He bought a roundtrip ticket to Japan and spent all his time writing his book, saying it was money well spent-completing the entire project.
Christ didn’t have to deal with all the devices we have today, but we find in the scriptures where he had to repeatedly remind his disciples what their mission was. Sometimes they just didn’t get it the first time.
We can all benefit from uninterrupted time alone for personal renewal, reflection, study, and contemplation. Christ needed that. So do we.
“Your mercies are new every morning” (Lamentations 3:22-23, adapted).
Ordinary Time is a season for noticing the details of life that make up its substance. This month, we invite you to pay attention with each fresh morning to the gift of being alive. Before getting out of bed, take a few deep breaths and notice what it feels like to wake up in your own body. Engage the tasks of your unfolding day with reverence-brushing your teeth, making the bed, pouring the coffee, tending the kids, feeding the animals, making breakfast, etc. Notice the presence of the Holy in every ordinary thing. Embrace your daily routines with sacramental significance. Notice how long you can do this before your attention is taken away, and commit to returning to this simple awareness as gently and often as you can.
Today’s Prayer for Peace
Engage in a daily practice of praying for peace in our world. Click here to read today’s prayer and be part of this practice of peace.