“After saying farewell to them, he went up on the mountain to pray.”
In my younger days, I would often imagine myself being like Jonathan Livingston Seagull. Seagulls spend their days scavenging for food while riding the wind thermals along the shore. Jonathan was different. He wanted to explore the secrets and lessons of flight. He’d forego food and instead practice flying. When other seagulls were foraging for something to eat, he was busy testing the limits of how far, how high and for how long he can fly. He chose to be different.
One can easily get caught up in the busy-ness of daily living: establishing a career, pursuing a profession, raising a family, and even contributing to the community. Daily mundane tasks have us scampering from one place to another: commuting, doing the groceries, keeping house, and even doing our daily exercises. I sometimes find myself on auto pilot, moving from one activity to another through sheer routine and habit.
I can chose to be different. Instead of mindless activity, I can chose to go into mindful stillness and quiet. Instead of being busy looking or preparing for something to eat and drink, I can learn that there is a hunger in my soul that food cannot satisfy, a thirst in my body that no drink can quench, and a longing in my heart that no pleasure of the senses can gratify.
In the stillness and the quiet, I come to know my limits and inadequacies, my pains and disappointment, my fears and my frustrations. But I also discover there are ways to go beyond them, go around them, and even go and grow because of them. I learn over time and practice that I am connected to a God, who revealed Himself as “I Am”. He gave me a mind that can reason and I respond saying, “I think, therefore I am.” He gave me a heart to build relationships and I respond saying, “I love, therefore I am.” And He gave me hands to give and to make things and I respond saying, “I do, therefore I am.”
Life is what I choose to make of it.