Alms Giving: Cleaning the Closets, Part 3, Slow Down!

Part 3We live in a time in which we are surrounded by weapons of mass distraction.  Noise and activity fill our lives to the point that we can hardly hear, let alone, listen.

Schedules are full to over-flowing and time just flies by so fast that we end up missing https://www.acheterviagrafr24.com/viagra-online/ so many things.  The world tells us to multi-task in order to succeed and the pressure is on to perform.

Yes, you say, I want to slow down because I am older.  Probably true.  I am tired of running.  In my early days, though, I bought into the cue that busyness means your important and invaluable and people like you to be busy.  And, I did get a lot done.  On same days I could accomplish more in a half day than some could accomplish in two days.  In many respects, I don’t regret this because I think what I did was good and beneficial.  Plus, or professional role models worked 60 hours per week, so we needed to. 

Busyness is a hospitality issue and an outreach issue.  When one appears busy, one appears unavailable.  Is that what we want to communicate?  I learned through my chaplaincy training that it is important, as a chaplain, to move slow and to take the time to sit down.  Both of those actions communicate caring.  When I had chaplain interns, I spent the first week teaching them how to walk through the care center.  My strong message to them was, no matter what, do not look busy and do not look in a hurry.  It will all get done.

Marva Dawn, in her book, “Keeping the Sabbath Wholly” says that the first step in Sabbath-keeping is to “cease.”  Sabbath, according to Dawn, is to cease from anything that looks like work and busyness.  She speaks of one day per week, but, as a Benedictine I would speak of a rhythm throughout the day.

I would advocate that we learn to cease throughout the day for a times of mini-Sabbaths.  The church has historically called one form of these mini-Sabbaths, the Liturgy of the Hours.  To take the time, four times per day, to engage in the quietness of prayer is a wonderful series of mini-Sabbaths.  Muslims are asked to pray five times per day and I have heard many Christians speak with deep respect for this practice without even being aware that Christians are asked to pray four times per day as a part of our spiritual discipline.  Christians do not make this a law as some do, but the Church invites Christians to take this time of quiet to be present before God four times per day.

Lent offers another opportunity to cease from frenetic activity and invites us to step into the quietness of prayer.  Lent can

be a time to clean out our closet of activity.  Do we really need to be at church four nights per week?  Do our kids really need to be on two or three teams with swimming lessons in the middle?  What are the priorities?  What do we really need?

During Lent, take time https://www.acheterviagrafr24.com/acheter-viagra-en-ligne/ to step back and ask how each of your activities helps you fulfill the mission that God has given you.  Admission to heaven is not based upon the number of meetings you attend.  What is important in the fulfilling of your mission?  What can you clean out?  How do you make room and space for reflection?

So, instead of watermelon, give up meetings.  So instead of ice cream, give up running hither and yon to fulfill someone else’s idea of a dream.  Create a space of quiet in your life that you might be more centered in the Christ who loves you very much.

I am becoming increasingly aware of the Slow Movement.  Fascinating.  Check out the Slow Movement web site.  I am sure that not everyone is going to agree with everything that is there, however, just exploring the site helps raise wonderful questions for us to think about.  Slow Movement http://www.slowmovement.com/.

Go slow.

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