Friday, March 15, 2013

Taking the Time to Go Deeper

"God is in the depth, and we lose touch with God when we focus only on surface things. God is in the silence which we neglect and fear, and we close ourselves to the whisperings of the Spirit when we constantly surround ourselves with artificial sounds.  God is in the questions that arise when we break free of the distractions and we cut God off when we avoid contemplations of purpose, value, and priority. God is in the mystery, and we turn God away when we live as if the only things that matter are those we can see, touch, explain, or possess.  God is in the love of others, and we drive God out when we neglect the deepening of relationships.  God is in the feeling of being still, and we overlook attempts by God to reach us when we run constantly from one activity another.  God is in the discovery and exploration of the interior life, and we say NO to God when we deny there is a spiritual side to our own lives.  There are elements to existence that we only discover when we open ourselves to God."   Bishop Robert Schnase, Five Practices of Fruitful Living, p. 28

    Following this paragraph, Bishop Schnase goes on to write about the way in which our "work" has changed in the last hundred or so years.  The fact that our grandparents and great grandparents often performed repetitive tasks in the course of their days.  These took little conscious thought, and therefore, "most had hours to think, remember, mull over, rehearse, and reflect on the happenings of their lives."

    These words came to me as I participated in a discussion of Food and Faith: A Theology of EatingNorman Wirzba's book about how our faith intersects the world of our eating. We were discussing the fact that it takes so much time to really prepare a healthy meal. Cooking food which has been responsibly grown either by ourselves or other local growers in a manner that preserves the health benefits of the food can be a time-consuming task.

  I thought of myself in the kitchen-often with either the TV or radio on-- or even sometimes with the laptop open to Facebook while I cook....
  How different would my experience be if I treated cooking as a Spiritual Exercise.
       What if I begin to invite God's Spirit into my cooking?
       How might that begin to change how I look on this chore?
      What if I begin to pray for all the hands that touched the food before it reached my pan?
      what if I were more consciously grateful for all the sacrifices that were made by others so that I could enjoy this meal?

Maybe the practice that I need as much as mindful eating is mindful cooking.... 

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