I have two seemingly unrelated thoughts on my mind that keep fighting to the surface as I write today.
Presence and exploration.
I have never been good at being in the moment. My thoughts are often consumed by past failures or future endeavors, yet rarely about what is going on in the present time. I find myself drifting away from whatever moment I am in, daydreaming about what is to come or what I have to do next. Or, if a moment presents itself that I can be present with another person – I tend to lose myself in self-loathing about how I might have failed at being present in the past.
In other words, the present moment is quite fleeting for me. It passes by like sand through my fingers. Yet, my Lord Jesus said that the present moment or “today” is more important than anything. He didn’t spend a lot of time dwelling on the past or future (other than proclaiming the coming kingdom) but instead had the desire to be present with people in situations most would get distracted.
I want to be like that. Like a penniless beggar, I sell my moments away for the cheap price of daydreaming and self-loathing and the enemy gets to keep the gift that God said was most valuable: today.
Now, to exploration. If you have read the blog over the last year you know I am a romantic for the outdoors. I feel like I was born in a time when very little exploration needs to be done. It seems like everything has been found in our world. What is there left to search for? What is there left to be seen that hasn’t been seen yet?
I have always been enamored with the stories of great explorers. They give up everything to discover great countries no one has ever seen. Lewis and Clark opened up the West for American settlers. Columbus discovered the New World for Europe to colonize.
But as I have pondered what these brave men did, something occurred to me. They were not the first to lay eyes on the land they discovered. Instead, they were the first of their people to discover this land. They opened up the doors for many more to see what they had seen. While their triumphs were great and their stories forever famous, they weren’t the first to see what they had seen. There were natives and even some less famous explorers who knew the land already.
As we renew and refine our vision for Sacred Margins, we do so with this mentality. We want to discover what it means to live a contemplative life as those who came from a theological background that values different things. When we engage in the liturgical calendar or adopt a new spiritual discipline as a community, we know we are not breaking new ground.
We are exploring.
And, I want to explore this new frontier of spiritual experience not to say that I am any better than anyone else, but to better my ability to slow down and be present with people. I want to view my fleeting moments as an undiscovered land full of new possibilities that need to be experienced fully.
I believe our direction in 2013 will be worth the work and we will discover new things about God and ourselves.
Will you join us?