John Michael Talbot on Facebook, December 30, 2011)
This is certainly the challenge in my life. Yesterday, I was noting that I spend about 30 hours a month doing laundry. Yes, you read that right. I like doing laundry, thankfully, but how often am I open to "search awesome Mystery" while I am doing it? What about the 70 hours a month I spend cooking? Where is that openness when my children are not making wise choices and I am charged with teaching them another way?
It's a tall order, this opening of our hearts to God. It's the fiat of fiats, isn't it? "If you love me, you will keep my commandments."
I love you, Lord, but loving my neighbor is so hard! Especially when "my neighbor" is a 3-year-old choosing obstinance.
So much more is meant by "keeping my commandments" than following the letter of the law, isn't it? What if "Love the Lord your God" really encompasses me loving the Lord my God the way it is expressed in the Great Commandment, "Therefore, you shall love the LORD, your God, with your whole heart, and with your whole being, and with your whole strength."
My whole being. My whole being. It sounds like a tall order and yet, on the other hand, it is also the path of least resistance. Love is always easier than "not love" but my brain gets in the way and chooses the other path.
Perhaps the path to searching "awesome Mystery in the midst of the mundane" is really just a matter of discipline. Just as I have taught myself to tune out the sounds of traffic or the television show the kids are watching, I can teach myself to tune in to awesome Mystery. It is possible to be in the midst of my life and in the Presence at the same time.
I know it is possible because I am thinking through this blog entry and typing it with a two-year-old literally on my lap between me and my laptop, a three year old warming her ice cold feet under my legs, a 4-year-old chatting away on the floor and "Dora the Explorer" on T.V. It takes practice. If I can write blogs and parent, I can "search awesome Mystery" and parent!
Tonight as I raise a glass to welcome a new year, I am also welcoming a new year of parenting in the Presence of "awesome Mystery." May God richly bless ALL our efforts!