Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Living in the Moment

In this fast-paced modern world, it is so important to make time for silence. While on vacation to the Northeast this week I've been blessed with many opportunities for quiet contemplation. As so often happens when we visit my in-laws, I discovered a gem in one of the bookshelves, The Music of Silence: Entering the Sacred Space of Monastic Experience, by David Steindl-Rast, O.S.B. Here is an excerpt from this small but insightful book, the companion to the CD entitled Chant:

"We are so geared to what is useful that we forget the meaningful, what gives our life joy and depth and value." (p.14)

"Saturated with information but often bereft of meaning, we feel caught in a never-ending swirl of duties and demands, things to finish, things to put right. Yet as we dart anxiously from one activity to the next, we sense that there is more to life than our worldly agendas." (p.5)

Can you, like me, relate to these simple but profound statements? If so, make time today for a bit of silence and take advantage of the gift of the present moment. As I do that now, I am filled with thankfulness for life, for health, for children, for hand-made ice cream and grape tomatoes, for a bird's nest discovered on a walk, for family, and for the ability to know and experience God and His goodness.

A few days ago, as I sat on the lawn enjoying my mother-in-law's breathtaking garden and reading this little book, my nine year-old hopped onto my blanket. Sensing a conversation coming, I marked the page and set the book down. He grinned big as he dropped his LEGO mini-figures and, out of nowhere, asked what my favorite "creature" is. Though he initially agreed with my choice of a butterfly, he explained why he prefers the puffin. With great excitement, he shared its various attributes, the best being the puffin's ability to "torpedo backwards." As he mimicked its swift movements, I smiled, for I was perfectly in the moment, enjoying my son's joy and making it my own.

Life is made up of moments like this one, but so often we miss them. We're busy, we have stuff to do, items to check off our lists, deadlines to meet. And speaking of deadlines, did you ever notice the word dead in deadlines? (p.5) Perhaps if we spent more time reaching out for our lifelines and becoming lifelines for each other rather than frantically living to meet deadlines... perhaps we'd experience more joy. It's just a thought.

Yes! Life is made up of moments, and each brings the opportunity for us to live it fully! Let us live every one. For each is a wonderful gift.

Thankful for life!
Dr Mari

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