Being Challenged Times Three
Thought #1: Have you noticed lately on Facebook all the challenges? There is the Ice Bucket Challenge for ALS, which has become incredibly helpful in raising money for research. Others turn the Ice Bucket challenge for their own favorite charity, again a good cause. It has been fun watching all the clever videos that bring a smile against a deadly disease or a cause to lift humankind out of the depths.
But the one that fascinates me is the challenge to list three things for which you are grateful for seven days. Twenty-one. Every time I read a post I find myself saying, "Yes, I agree, I am grateful for the same thing. Mostly I see family, friends, work, community and freedom listed. If I am really honest I hope that no one nominates me. Why?
Thought #2: Southminster Presbyterian Church, Boise has begun a Sabbath Sunday once a month. Marci Glass (pastor) Blog on Sabbath explains the concept and shares her personal journey. The congregation gathers for worship on Saturday late afternoon then shares a meal. It is a different kind of gathering for worship than "normal" but the beauty is in the concept. How does one "keep" the Sabbath, assuming that it falls on Sunday? Normally it is a very busy day - church, church school, laundry, homework, maybe a movie or run or bike ride. Often it is individuals of a family going/doing apart from each other. Having the opportunity to worship AND have a day of quiet is a concept worth grasping.
Being retired I fully realize that Sunday can be a quiet, focused on worship kind of day. There is no real urgency of "getting ready for the onslaught of the week ahead." But am I really focused on "Sabbath?"
Thought #3: Next Avenue - Benefits of Quiet is an article that I read recently that suggests that the body needs quiet to renew its energy. Being an introvert that makes perfect sense to me. However, that is not the intent of the article. Quiet isn’t just the absence of sound. The stillness one finds in green parks or along quaint country roads streets is enough to calm the mind and lift the spirit. Says Michael Hunter, M.D., of the University of Sheffield´s Department of Neuroscience, “Tranquility is a state of calmness and reflection, which is restorative compared with the stressful effects of sustained attention in day-to-day life.”
My Challenge: Quiet, a peaceful centering, contentment, internal calm. When I can attain this kind of personal peace (and it takes practice!) I find a life of gratitude. I approach others, my personal challenges, life in general with a perspective of hope and happiness.
Therefore, my personal challenge is to make time for quiet, for Sabbath, on a daily basis. Will I succeed? Not likely. But I like the challenge.