In his book, Following Jesus: Finding Our Way Home in an Age of Anxiety by Henri Nouwen, Nouwen says, “The great art of spiritual living is to pay attention to the breathing of the spirit right where you are and to trust that there will be breathing of new life.” Where is God breathing new life into yours?
I am so much more of a creature of habit than I realize. By that, I do not mean the tasks and duties of my life are simplistic or even similar to one another. They are quite varied and different. As a rector with three small children I am literally never bored, listless, wandering, or able to be complacent (without endangering my marriage or vocation). Annie and I recall with great nostalgia the feeling of boredom we remember from prior years.
Nevertheless, the pandemic has exposed with great clarity for me the ways in which I exist within solipsistic bubbles of my own making. For the most part, I watch the same news stations, speak to (relatively) the same people, and eat similar food from the similar places. I also (generally speaking) cognate in ways that are very similar to the people who look and speak like me who happen to be in my proximity.
During this time of pandemic, I have found areas of commonality as well as areas of disagreement with people I love that I could have never anticipated before the pandemic. I have also experienced connection and community with many I could have never dreamed. I have arrived to complete clarity on few issues during this time of shutdown save for the ongoing realization that I have so much more to learn.
In Mark 2:22 Jesus tells us that “no one puts new wine into old wineskins; otherwise, the wine will burst the skins, and the wine is lost, and so are the skins; but one puts new wine into fresh wineskins.” During this time of pandemic, I have seen new life breathed into the neural pathways I use to make connections and assess the world around me. Out of necessity, I have changed so much more of my life than I realized was possible. While I do not hope for another pandemic, I do hope to keep this insight with me.
COLLECT OF THE DAY
Mercifully hear our prayers, O Lord, and spare all those who confess their sins to you; that those whose consciences are accuse by sin may by your merciful pardon be absolved; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
LISTEN TO "THE TRANSFIGURATION"
Click below to listen to Sufjan Stevens' song, "The Transfiguration."
LISTEN TO TED TALK "HOW THE WORST MOMENTS IN OUR LIVES MAKE US WHO WE ARE"
Click below to listen to writer Andrew Solomon give a powerful call to action to forge meaning from our biggest struggles.
Click on the link below to purchase today's suggested read: Following Jesus: Finding Our Way Home in an Age of Anxiety by Henri J. M. Nouwen.