I suspect that whatever has occurred in my life in this regard has, to a significant extent, been a gift that I have received through my practice and involvement related to Contemplative Outreach; but I hasten to add that I cannot be sure since I am strongly aware of God’s grace flowing toward me through many channels in my life. Secondly, I also hasten to add that my mind is quick to interpret the nature of this story to be about some indication of PROGRESS in a journey of transformation in Christ.
I suspect that I am not alone in wanting to present to myself and others some story of personal improvement. Perhaps my realization of this fact, in itself, represents a small step in openness to God’s gift toward some progress. At the same time, I also realize that my journey is quite labyrinthine and, as such, is full of many twists and turns; and assessment of progress can be made only from a transcendent perspective which I do not possess. I am eternally grateful for God’s loving patience with my meandering.
Given the above preface, I do risk offering a description of a recent gift that I likely realized through the generous work of David Frenette (www.incarnationalcontemplation.com), a member of the Contemplative Outreach community, and his Heartfulness Practice. I have recently become very aware that I have an impulsive response to impatience and frustration of saying to myself, “Oh! Come on!” This might be related, for example, to a stuck zipper or to a slow computer when I am trying to get through, as quickly as possible, with a task that I don’t enjoy. The part of me that likes to assess my “progress” is sometimes disappointed, sometimes amused, at this expression of impatience that reflects my loss of sense of God’s Presence in such parts of my life. Yesterday, it occurred to me that my impulsive response of “Oh! Come on!” can also serve me as a blessed reminder of the omnipresent invitation to sense God’s Presence in each moment of my life, pleasant or unpleasant. Responding to this invitation can enable me to avoid the future focus of getting finished with and through the moment as quickly as possible and live MORE FULLY in each moment instead.