Righteous Boredom

Life Notes—October 11, 2012 

“The effect of righteousness will be peace, and the result of righteousness, quietness and trust forever.  My people will abide in secure dwellings, and in quiet resting places.”  Isaiah 32:16-18 

Sometimes I act like a stimulation junkie.  It’s not enough to have the television on; often I am surfing the internet or playing games on my iPad at the same time.  When I take an evening walk, I check my email on my phone, usually several times.  I regularly read the newspaper and watch the news on television while I eat breakfast.  You get the picture—look up multitasking in the dictionary and you may find a picture of me, doing several things (poorly) at once.  It’s not that I am particularly good at focusing my attention on several things at once—I am not.  It is that I am easily bored and distracted.  Perhaps the most irritating and disrespectful manifestation of this is when I try to answer a question before the speaker has finished asking.  Sometimes I am simply intolerant of silence or too much space between words or images or other forms of stimulation or entertainment.

But the best comedians master the use of the pause.  The best public speakers know how to space their words and vary their cadence to lead the audience where they want them to go, intellectually and emotionally.  I admire writers who can artfully tell a story that keeps the reader hanging on, offering just enough information to hold intrigue, yet skillfully, steadily and often slowly building to a climax that ties everything together.  In art, as in life, there is inestimable beauty and depth in space.

I have difficulty staying in the moment because there is seemingly too much space in most moments.  Focusing on the “space” in my life is an on-going challenge.  Psalm 46:10 says, “Be still, and know that I am God!”  Quietness.  Solitude.  Stillness.  These are the conditions in which we are most likely to encounter the Spirit.  When we clear our mind and focus on the space remaining we open ourselves to new insights and clearer perspectives, while also lowering our blood pressure and strengthening our immune system.  We open the door to other worlds; worlds where we can more clearly know a Savior stands beside us, whispering words of love and wisdom in our ear. Sometimes when I am distracted it seems I am literally trying to kill time, that precious and limited gift given each of us for our earthly journey.  Killing time, rather than immersing in it.

Tom is preaching downtown where Life worship is at 10:00 AM in Brady Hall and traditional worship is at 8:30 and 11:00 in the sanctuary.  Mitch will preach at the west campus where worship is at 9:00 and 11:00.  His sermon title is “Baggage,” based on Mark 10:23-31.

Come home to church this Sunday.  Journey into space with us…

Greg Hildenbrand, Life Music Coordinator

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