be, encountering time, gift, growth spurt, lists, motivation, The Sophia Center for Spirituality, wasted moments
I woke up this morning full of urgency. I looked at my calendar to try to discern when everything (all “normal” activities) stopped because of the word and reality of PANDEMIC coming to us. It was somewhere in the midst of early March and I have been floating along since then without a definite sense of what to do – and, more to the point – how to be. In one sense I feel as if I have been wasting time while in a different way I think I have begun to live into a new way of encountering time.
It’s difficult to explain what is different but the urgency in me seems to be the need to make lists so I can be more deliberative about this “wrinkle in time.” There are tasks to do which I have been considering for a couple of weeks that still sit undone, connections to be made that need a motivation as well as a different mode of execution (telephone, computer or snail mail rather than meeting in a physical space) in addition to books and articles to be read — some of which have deadlines.
I feel as if we have been given a gift. I know that sounds incredibly counterintuitive and horrific in the face of the sadness and death but in the face of disaster we often find possibility. What is happening this morning to me is the call to be alert so as not to waste this time. It does not mean to use it in the same way as I have before but rather to dig deep to see what will have a positive outcome for the rest of my life.
My lists will hopefully serve as a marker for inner attention but may be a map as well for the kind of a “growth spurt” that I long for but cannot achieve in any active way. The motivation will be more essential, perhaps, than the actual activity and the urgency will provide the energy for everything. In a word, I think it all comes down to discipline, which – as an inner attitude – manifests as wisdom work for myself but also for the good of the world.
Thank you. This time of forced isolation has been saying the same word to me. Discipline. I see myself wandering around my condo unable to structure my prayer time or exercise time or work on projects. I’m 81 years old. Time to make better use of whatever remaining years I have. Even more, I feel an urgency to participate in God’s Project. It is like He is up to something, wants His people to be aware and awake. The whole world is involved in this unique virus just as the whole world has heard the gospel. Sleeper awake. But I don’t know what I am to awaken to. I guess for one, to know that I mostly sleepwalk through life and that’s just not good enough for these times.
Thank you, Louise. I think we are “on the same page.” I felt you walking around your condo and can absolutely understand your feelings because they are also mine. Somehow though, I doubt that you are “mostly sleepwalking through life”…even if just because you know that would not be good enough right now. I cherish your response and am grateful for your striving. Blessings to you.
Dorothy Hathway Forbes said:
There’s a lovely little book by Barbara Brown Taylor titled “Learning to Walk in the Dark” that describes the disorientation and “nada” we experience these days. We so often believe that awareness, mindfulness and decision-making will produce in us joy, a satisfying sense of accomplishment, the skills to help others, and they do – to a somewhat limited degree. However, experiencing the “terrors of the night”, the not-knowing, the disorientation and helplessness is also a great gift. This Night, miserable and painful as it can be, can be an entry into a new consciousness, and I’m certain that it offers us the “graces-gifts” needed to help others who haven’t yet realized their strength.
Interesting that you should mention that book, Dot, as we at the Sophia Center were in the middle of a six-session book study using it when the coronavirus stopped us in our tracks. Yesterday we had a conversation about picking up the study virtually for now. My suggestion was that, in order to get back into is, we might want our first “meeting” to be a “prequel” – using the title to reflect on the book and where we are now.
I share your conviction about moving to a new consciousness and am hoping that even just reflection on the title of the book can be a strong prompt in that direction.