The Previous Ten Minutes (April 22, 2013)

…Opening To…

For life, with all it yields of joy and woe
And hope and fear,—believe the aged friend,—
Is just our chance o’ the prize of learning love. (Robert Browning, “A Death in the Desert”)

…Listening In…

Jesus told this parable: “A man owned a fig tree planted in his vineyard. He came looking for fruit on it and found none. He said to his gardener, ‘Look, I’ve come looking for fruit on this fig tree for the past three years, and I’ve never found any. Cut it down! Why should it continue depleting the soil’s nutrients?’ The gardener responded, ‘Lord, give it one more year, and I will dig around it and give it fertilizer. Maybe it will produce fruit next year; if not, then you can cut it down.’ ” (Luke 13:6-9; context)

…Filling Up…

Have you ever been driving your car for a while and then realize all of a sudden that you don’t remember anything that happened in the previous ten minutes? More than once when I used to drive up and down I-79 in the middle of Everything-Looks-the-Same, West Virginia, I would do just that. I would look out the windshield and surprise myself with the uncomfortable fact that I was on a highway in the midst of many large, metal automobiles traveling 73 mph. Let’s see: the little Hyundai I drove back then weighed 2366 pounds. Toss in another 180 pounds for passenger and luggage. Converting to metric and employing some rules from Sir Isaac, I find that my car’s momentum was 3850N-s (that’s Newton-seconds, whatever those are). Now, I don’t know much about physics, but that seems like a lot of momentum, and I have seen my share of high-speed motor vehicle collisions. How could I ever fail to pay attention for ten seconds, let alone ten minutes?

If I can’t pay attention when doing something potentially dangerous such as driving, how often do I let everything that passes me simply flatten into mere scenery, leached of color and motion? How often do I lapse into the background of my own life? How often do I look at people and not see them or hear a voice and not listen for its meaning and timbre? The answer: pretty darn often, because life is so much easier on autopilot. Easier, but then again, I’m not sure that counts as living.

This week we are going to talk about the difference between simply existing and living – living into the fullness that God yearns for each of us. So stay tuned.

…Praying For…

Dear God, your encounter with Saul left him forever changed. Help me to recognize the changes that you have caused to happen in my life and be thankful for them. In Jesus Christ’s name I pray. Amen.

…Sending Out…

I leave this moment with you, God, ready to step into the spotlight of my life and shine in the brilliance of your presence.

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