A REFLECTION AND A BENEDICTION FOR THE WEEK
When we moved to West Virginia a few years ago, Jim and I decided to downsize by taking fewer belongings with us and finding a smaller home. We soon enjoyed the benefits of simpler living, such as having fewer household tasks for our aging bodies and more time to do other things. Going smaller in these few ways helped us to live more comfortably and simply, giving us time to enhance and enjoy other areas of our life.
This week, I have been reflecting on this idea, wondering what gifts we might find by “downsizing” other areas of our lives.
~ My inclination generally is to get past the mundane, or to get through the routine as I await a bigger and better opportunity. What if I learned to downsize this perspective by seeking the meaning in the mundane, by savoring the ritual in the routine? Each moment has the potential for significance or sacredness. When writing a grocery list, I have begun to find the spirituality in tending and nourishing our bodies as I plan healthy meals. Doing the laundry has become a tender act of care as I lovingly think of Jim while putting his shirts on hangers (although he often gets to them before I do). When we can downsize our focus to the everyday moments and minutia, we will have more opportunities to find significance and sacredness in all of life.
~ Another inclination is to overlook the smaller occasions while anticipating the bigger celebrations. What if I downsized my perspective to find the same joy of large family gatherings tucked into our smaller conversations, our daily connections? I can continue to regret that our family has not been together during the last several holidays, or I can thoroughly enjoy our group texts each morning (when we compare our daily Wordle scores, “chat”, and laugh by emojis). We may not be physically together, but oh my, we remain connected.
If we learn to look at life on a downsized scale, to seek more from each little moment, I wonder if life will actually feel larger. We will one day look back to see that our lives were filled with an infinite number of tiny gifts, each containing significance, sacredness, and joy. May we never come to the end of life and find that most of our days were spent waiting for something more.
Sometimes I wonder if we are looking “too largely” for God, too. God, the awesome mystery, has chosen to downsize so we may find God’s presence and love in our human capacity. God is revealed through Christ in Jesus, then through the Spirit within us – we have God’s presence dwelling in ourselves! God is as infinite as the universe but is as present as all of creation. We may not fully comprehend God, but we can find bits of God in everything around us and all that is deep within us.
When we begin to look at all of life with a smaller perspective, perhaps we will discover the infinite, majestic, holy, and meaningful life that God has lovingly created for us to experience with great joy.
May our greatest expectation
be the smallest daily chore
or the simplest precious moment,
for they will bear much more
than what we might imagine
or what we’re searching for.
May we seek and always find you
through our ordinary days,
looking closely for your presence,
keeping nothing in the way.
For we are trusting in the certainty
that you have come to stay.
May we learn to change perspective
and to focus on the now,
asking only that you be revealed;
that you will show us how
to live in joyful adoration
’til every knee shall bow.
Thank you for this amazing life,
for each morning, bright and new,
and as we downsize just a bit
to bring you more in view,
help us to find among the gifts
the incredible gift of you.
Photo by Georg Eiermann on Unsplash
I SO needed this today! Thank you for sharing 🙏
Oh Marie, thank you for letting me know! You have now blessed me, too.
Another helping of the pain,
and threat of breath cessation,
so how is it that I remain
in quiet bright elation?
Another tumours rears its head
and shouts that I shall die,
so why is it I feel no dread,
and sparkle lights my eye?
The wide world that used to know
has faded from my ken,
but what is left is full aglow,
with no ‘remember when’,
and thus to my smiling surprise
my cancer’d life is super-sized.
Thank you, Andrew, always for sharing your abiding faith and hope and even joy. You are inspiring and changing all of us who read your insightful words and witness your powerful example, Sending love, as always!
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