All of humanity’s problems
stem from man’s inability
to sit quietly in a room alone.
I came across this quote from seventeen century Catholic theologian Blaise Pascal and it really stopped me in my tracks. So simply true. The happenings of the last few months have been unsettling for many not just because of the fear of getting the Corona virus but also the anxiety that comes from social isolation and down time.
The degree to which we can handle quiet, unstructured time varies greatly. Some of us handle quiet time alone with more grace than others. What is it about the quiet that disturbs us? What is it about being alone with our thoughts that causes us to avoid it at all costs?
Who or what made us feel that just “being” is uncool, unproductive, and undesirable?
Why do we make endless “To Do” lists but never “To Be” lists?
That was the homework today from the daily morning reflection I was listening to: to make a “To Be” list. A daily list of how you would like to be or who you would like to be. Then ask for God’s help. And at the end of the day see how much of your list you were able to check off.
We were reminded during the reflection, of the story of Martha and her sister, Mary, in the gospel of Luke. Mary chose to just be at Jesus feet listening to him speak while Martha was “anxious and worried about many things.” Jesus said to Martha, “There is need of only one thing.” And pointed out that Mary has chosen that one thing; to sit at the feet of Jesus and listen.
Are we being called to just be at the feet of Jesus these days? Could this time of limited social activities and quiet time be a beckoning to the feet of Jesus, a beckoning to an encounter with Jesus? Maybe that’s why it so hard.
Jesus longs to reveal himself to us and usually through the simple moments of our everyday life. Like when three deer come into view as you gaze out the window. If we can become more comfortable with stillness, the loosening of our schedules, and the forced return to a simpler life, we just might find ourselves in a place to hear Jesus speak to us.
What would he say to you today?