It is ironic that I have not had time to sit and write these thoughts recently. A few weeks ago, the sermon at church was on "Finding a Quiet Place" to be with God. We observed some ACTUAL silence in the service. I realized then how rarely I have actual silence in my life. There may be times that are somewhat quiet, but there are emails, facebook, voicemails and other distractions. I rarely accomplish actual mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual silence.
At a seminar a couple of weeks ago, oddly enough on how to utilize the internet and social media to reach people with the message of our non-profits, I learned just how "A.D.D." our culture is. I realized again just how many times a day we are bombarded with messages and how impatient we are as a society. During this class we watched the video clip again of Louis C.K. on the Conan show and I was reminded how much we take technology for granted and how immune we have become to the miraculous.
Then...I went on vacation. For the past few years our vacations have consisted of going to youth camp with the church youth or going on large family vacations with my whole extended family (which are nice in a different way), but this year, we went on a trip with just our four family members -Lynda, the girls, and me. We visited some colleges and then went to stay with my aunt and uncle at the beach for a few days, but it was so much more than that. We rode long hours in the car together and laughed. We ate meals together and talked and laughed. We shared thoughts, hopes, and ideas. We heard stories of our common ancestors and shared some of our lives as well. We played every day in the waves of the ocean, something that has long renewed all of our spirits. One day after body surfing and jumping waves until I could hardly stand, I went and laid on my towel and watched the clouds drift over the beach. Though there were people all around, there was a wonderful sense of peace in that moment as I wondered at the magnificence of the ocean and beauty of creation. I thanked God for the gift of my beautiful family and God's fabulous creation.
I am blessed that I don't have to go on vacation to have experiences like this with my family, but unfortunately I don't take the time to be mindful of the moment and things around me on a daily basis. It is in these moments of awareness and sense of gratitude that my soul is fed and I have a sense of peace. Here's to more silence, being still, and drawing closer to God.