As the emotional demands of today’s world continue – the uncertainty of the pandemic and the unjust racial structures baked into our society – I find myself longing for a more spiritually alive center, an inward reality that equips me to deal with difficult people and topics with grace and generosity.
So, I pray, read, exercise, and try to stay in close touch with friends and family. I also try to find some way to serve, to be kind, to express compassion and love to those facing a particularly difficult time. It’s not a bad combination, and I invite you to be intentional about your own plan for living through these times with grace and equanimity.
This week, I spent some time considering formative relationships and writings in my life, those gifts God granted that have helped shape me into the person I am now and would (eventually!) like to become. I’ll be sharing more of these in the weeks ahead, but today I’ll start with the best. It’s from Frederick Buechner and is worth reading every day.
“Listen to your life. All moments are key moments. I discovered that if you really keep your eye peeled to it and your ears open, if you really pay attention to it, even such a limited and limiting life as the one I was living on Rupert Mountain opened up onto extraordinary vistas. Taking your children to school and kissing your wife goodbye. Eating lunch with a friend. Trying to do a decent day's work. Hearing the rain patter against the window.
There is no event so commonplace but that God is present within it, always hiddenly, always leaving you room to recognize him or not to recognize him, but all the more fascinatingly because of that, all the more compellingly and hauntingly. . . . If I were called upon to state in a few words the essence of everything I was trying to say both as a novelist and as a preacher, it would be something like this: Listen to your life. See it for the fathomless mystery that it is. In the boredom and pain of it no less than in the excitement and gladness: touch, taste, smell your way to the holy and hidden heart of it because in the last analysis all moments are key moments, and life itself is grace.”
(Now and Then
I couldn’t agree more….all moments are key moments, and life itself is grace.
This weekend, we’ll plow more ground in our efforts to recognize those key moments and the grace accompanying them. We’ll do so by
reading this passage from Habakkuk
, but you can get a better sense of it by reading the whole book, which is only three chapters.