Hurry sickness is a malady that is infecting many of us this Lenten Season. Perhaps you had good intentions like I did to spend meaningful moments with God this Lent but the busyness is already sucking the life out of some of us. This Lenten Season, I”m reading Juliet Benner’s beautiful book, Contemplative Vision and focusing on a piece of art each week to allow myself to be drawn in and to find the meaning for my own heart and soul. It’s my way of trying to become more focused this Lent.
How appropriate that Benner chooses “Census at Bethlehem” as one of the pieces she uses to help us understand the movement from busyness to becoming contemplative. Take a moment and study the painting. It’s busy. Lots of people scurrying around; lots of people accomplishing tasks. Lots of people doing things. You can barely notice the pregnant Mary and the determined Joseph in the painting at all–but they are there indeed. Have you found them? Look half way over and at the bottom of the painting and you’ll find them.
To see Jesus, we have to look. We have to search. We don’t always enjoy epiphanies and burning bushes on our journey do we? Looking for Jesus has to be intentional in our busy world–otherwise we might miss him–miss the holy moment that awaits us when we finally find him or he finds us. Lent is the intentional choice to look…and to look for meaning.
In Lent, as Spring unfolds the majesty, resolve to lessen the load of your busy days but considering these action steps.
1. Take a 10 minute walk OUTSIDE to look for Jesus.
2. Take a 10 minute break in the midst of your day–like I am right now to even write this meditation. I came home after a meeting and rather than driving back to the office to “do” more, I’m using this time to withdrawn from the busy, unfolding day to have a moment to breathe. I need that. Do you.
3. Read a book that can draw you into “seeing” Jesus in a whole new way this Lent. Like Benner’s book or something you’ve had but have not read yet. Let it become your Lenten Journey–an intentional choice to think daily about the journey to the cross.
I’m aware in Breugel the Elder’s painting here that many people are doing many things. It was his intent to show us that we can miss Jesus.
What if you are so busy that you miss the resurrection? What in you needs to come back to life? That’s a Lenten Question worthy of stopping and having a cup of tea with or coffee over and pondering to see if you can find Jesus in the midst of a busy day, busy Lenten Season and busy Spring.
This is my Lenten Journey.
How is your’s going?
Stephen W. Smith