Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Lent VII

The real problem with the spiritual discipline of self-examination is that it requires time.  It requires not little pieces of it, but big chunks.   Every part of our culture makes it a difficult thing to do.  It would seem that the church would facilitate it, but when was the last time the church called folks together to experience the silence.  No, the church always has something for its people to do.  It has bought into the idea that the blessed Christian is the busy Christian.  Certainly, the market place is not such a place.  It is driven by performance and an activity level to push it along a faster pace.   Not even the home gives us any encouragement in this spiritual endeavor.  As soon as someone draws apart and gives the appearance of not doing something, he or she is bound to be asked, "What's wrong with you?"
No, anyone who wants to be involved in self-examination is going to have to view it as a radical departure from the norm and understand that it will require a radical re-prioritization to make it happen.  While this discipline may not be something to practice on a daily basis, it still remains an illusive thing for us.  Perhaps, it has to do with paying the price of the time, or, perhaps, it is the fact that we really do not want to deal with the possible end result of being called to lived differently.  One things is certain:  it is not just going to fit into our busy schedule.  We will either have to delete some of the time consuming trivia which is a part of our lives, or do something like get up earlier in order to add something which might have significant value. 

The discipline of self-examination is not just an exercise in navel gazing.  It is a discipline which can help us learn about the art of "being."   We have mastered the "doing" part of life; what remains is the harder part.  There are important things to be discovered.  Why can I not live in the present?  Why must life always be in the past or the future?  What is there about the present that threatens me so much I cannot experience it fully?   Could it be that not being able to live fully in the present is nothing more than my own lack of faith in the God who calls me to live taking no thought for tomorrow?  Could it be that depending on self still takes precedence over depending on God?  Important things. 

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