“Make the most of every opportunity.” Col. 4:5
If I were to title this meditation I would call it, “Contemplation for Busy Moms.” For they, more than most, live in the often despairing tension between their deep need for time with God, and the impossibility of finding such repose in the midst of daily demands.
Many people have no choice but to live for long seasons knowing that the deep desires they feel for God are not likely going to find expression anytime soon. In the hope that there are things we can do in the meantime to keep our flame kindled I would like to offer some simple suggestions to help focus our spirituality during the busy seasons of our lives. If you’ve managed to find time to read this far, perhaps you can add one or two of the following recommendations to your day as well.
As often as you can, practice gentleness in your day as a point of fellowship with the gentle Christ. Soften the edges of your day by doing whatever you do with a lighter touch.
As often as you can in your day, practice humility. Become small within yourself, a little mustard seed, in order to redefine your relationship to all your tasks and interactions.
As often as you can in your day, assert poise and grace in your body. Find dignity even in how you walk and move, in how you talk and think. Establish a sovereign pace to all you do in order to counter our less noble tendencies towards franticness.
As often as you can in your day, practice letting go—the simple discipline of detachment. Even for a few seconds, let go of imperatives, of demands, of your anxious relationship to whatever is still undone. Though only a temporary respite, you will find it provides you with a most welcome return to “who you are apart from what you do.”
As often as you can in your day, take time to enjoy the simple fact of being alive. Enjoy breathing, the delight of being refreshed by air. Note the God-given physical pleasure it is to simply inhale and exhale.
Don’t leave it too late before resting whenever your soul needs restoration. You risk bruising it otherwise. Try to be attentive to the changing state of your heart and make restorative choices sooner rather than later. In other words, practice the ounce of prevention, rather than the pound of cure.
Whatever your day calls for, make a point of actually choosing beforehand to accept it. Remember Jesus’ words, “No one takes my life from me but I lay it down of my own accord.” It is more empowering to accept the things you can’t change, than to feel helplessly trapped by them.
Nurture the groaning in your spirit as your present prayer. Don’t let your longing turn to despair but let it be a statement of love. Sometimes the most endearing thing we can say to God in the midst of a busy season is, “I miss you.”
And, above all, as often as you can in your day, remember that you are not alone. Claim Paul’s words for yourself, that “the life I live is not my own, it is Christ living in me” (Gal. 2:20). Jesus feels your weariness, your hopes, your discouragement and your longings,. You are not alone, for He lives all aspects of your life with you.
Rob Des Cotes
Imago Dei Christian Communities
(written for May 24, 2012)
For Group Discussion:
1.Reflect on seasons in your life, (perhaps the current season) when it was impossible to establish any regularity of quietness and stillness. What forces were at play, how did it feel?
2.The meditation suggests the practice of gentleness, approaching tasks with a lighter touch, embracing humility and letting go of imperatives in the midst of the onslaught of the demands of the day. Reflect on what these practices would look like in your actual experience. How may these “on the go” practices nourish and sustain us?
3.What kinds of simple practices serve as a reminder that Jesus is with us? How may we also find comfort and strength in being reminded that we are part of a community of faith?
I thank you, Lord, for your presence and grace, in the “holy chaos” that sometime is my life. Thank you for your gentleness. Teach me to be gentle with myself and with others.