Terry Walton


I Was Thinking…

“The greatest enemy of thinking is busyness (business?).  I used to love a Zen teacher’s comment that the Western form of laziness is to be busy, while Asian laziness is too much meditation.  But I don’t think that’s true any longer.  Busyness isn’t our way of avoiding things—it’s our total and complete lifestyle.  We have too much to do, too many responsibilities, too many kid’s activities—and in this deluge of tasks and to-dos, we’re highly distracted.  With distracted minds, we can’t remember what we were supposed to do next.  And we don’t have the brain power to do that well, whatever that was.” (Who Do We Choose to Be? Margaret J. Wheatley, P.124)

C.S. Lewis, in his book Screwtape Letters, has Screwtape (Satan) telling his protégé, Wormwood, about Christians, “If we can distract them, we’ve got them.”  I’m concerned that Screwtape is correct about those of us who take on the name of Christian.  We are distracted these days.

“The experience of true faith in the living God is always personal and never individual.  Rather it is a spiritual journey which connects us intrinsically to the presence of God, whose love yearns to save and transform the world.  We are called to be “in Christ,” which means we share—always imperfectly, and always in community with others—the call to be the embodiment of God’s love in the world.” (Richard Rohr Meditation: The Embodiment of God’s Love, November 18, 2019)

If I (and you) were to regain our focus on ‘being the embodiment of God’s love in the world’, this would, I believe, move us away from distraction and back into focus.  This movement would assist us in the prioritizing of all the voices that call for our attention and energy in our living, which would lessen the busyness that distracts our minds and hearts.  By simply praying “Lord, empower me to love beyond myself this day”, we could be on our way back to ‘center’ in our lives.

Certainly, Jesus knew this about his humanity and ours.  This must be why he gave us a summary that is an easy ‘elevator speech’ to remember… “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.  The is the first and great commandment.  And the second is like unto it, thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.  On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets. (Matthew 22:37-40, KJV)

Distracted, busy, exhausted, frazzled, frustrated and concerned…all seem to be adjectives that describe us.  What are we to do?  Perhaps listening to Jesus is worth considering.

Always Thinking…

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