Living between the Continuums
David Nii, Council of Twelve Apostles
Praise the LORD, all you nations!
Extol him, all you peoples!
For great is his steadfast love toward us,
and the faithfulness of the LORD endures forever.
Praise the LORD! -Psalm 117
Last year we installed a high-speed gigabyte Internet line into our home. The faster speed allowed our household to better adapt to a new digital home environment: videoconferencing, media streaming, electronic communication, cloud-based data storage, smart home. As I reflect on the Lenten journey and my movement toward Jesus, the peaceful One, I acknowledge the seeming contradiction of my ever-increasing reliance on technology and the contemplative journey of self-examination and shedding of what is not necessary for abundant life. As with many others, I am in the tension of moving towards newness without losing what is most valuable in the old. I live in this tension of feeling the press of doing and accomplishing more while acknowledging the need for thoughtful and deliberate reflection on God’s call to sabbath.
The more I ponder these tensions, the more I conclude our call is to live somewhere in between these continuums. Neither abandoning technology nor accelerating our reach for speed, efficiency, and busyness is our best response to the call of God. Neither setting aside all old traditions nor being limited by them is how we best take our next life steps. Our journey towards shalom, life lived as God envisions for us, seems imbedded in this in-betweenness of new and old, fast and slow, more and less. Perhaps these differences are less linear continuums and more descriptive of a multi-dimensional array of possibilities. The Lenten journey is a pause in our present assumptions of what is most valuable and necessary and an invitation to examine and respond to the insights God continues to reveal to us, individually and collectively.
So, will my high-speed Internet help me move closer to Jesus? I believe the truthful answer is, “Maybe.” My journey of moving toward God’s shalom is faithfully lived in an ongoing balancing of many possibilities. Observing Lent is valuable for me as I confess uncertainty while affirming the importance of pondering and living in these questions. New life is not best experienced in a discovery of certainty but experienced as an affirmation of reliance on God.
Are we moving toward Jesus, the peaceful One?
Gospel Contemplation (Mark 1:9-11)
Each week during Lent, you are invited to pray with a different gospel story from the life of Christ. Use your senses and imagination to enter the text. Allow it to come to life in you, observing details, noticing interactions, even engaging in dialogue. Notice where you find yourself in the story and how you feel about what is happening. Notice what it evokes in you or invites of you. Take time to journal or enter silent prayer to reflect on your experience and to sense where the Spirit may be leading you through this scriptural encounter.
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.