This morning I had a presentation in Nashville, TN. I left with plenty of time to spare, didn’t encounter any wrecks, traffic jams, everything went smoothly and I arrived early. I took my time getting out of the truck, making sure everything needed was in my bag and headed into the lobby. Once inside there was a line to the receptionist and waiting patiently it finally became my time to ask where the room I was looking for was located. I said; “Good morning,” and then asked for directions. A confused look came over her face and I quickly figured out I was in the wrong place. Not just the wrong lobby, but the wrong street and the wrong section of town. I scurried outside, hopped back in the truck and discovered my mistake. I had put the wrong street in the GPS. I double checked my calendar, typed in the correct address and it was fifteen miles away! Yikes! I called my co-presenter and told her what happened and I would be there as fast as possible. After arriving again, this time at the right building, I hurried in. I was only ten minutes late but it felt much longer. My co-presenter began her section of the program and I took several deep breaths trying to center myself. When it was my turn I spoke to the group about fathers, everything went fine and I was thankful to actually be where I belonged.
Wisdom teaches us that we have ideas and certainties of where we need to go on the road of life. We look at our gifts and talents and assure ourselves who, where and what we are meant to be. However, we are often not the best judge of where our lives can be used best. To be centered, to hold our dreams and desires loosely and allow the path of life to unfold, to be led not where we think we need to go but where we actually belong.
I was washing dishes yesterday and thinking. This particular chore has a way of making me do this…. stuck in one place, my hands in the soap, staring out the window above the sink, just me and my thoughts.
Life is rarely, if ever, boring and at times unsettling with its randomness and challenges. In those times our minds can run away with itself and make us feel like we are treading water. The problem is one can only keep their head above water for so long. Sooner or later, if we can’t find rest we sink into anxiety and suffocate.
Catching our breath in a chaotic, unpredictable world is essential. Contemplative thought says that life is found now, a letting go of expectations and anticipations of past regrets and future worries.
As I stood over the sink, my mind whirling about issues and challenges life is bringing my way, I thought “…when these difficult times are over I’ll be able to catch my breath.” Almost as soon as this crossed my mind, reflexively, I took a deep, centering, breath and was reminded that life is this moment. Not sometime in the future, not by reliving the past, this moment, right now, I can catch my breath.
Stillness and life,