Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Unintentionality is the death of the soul

In my last post, I talked about how even religion got in the way of my faith.  ("Religion" in the "I-read-my-bible-and-go-to-church-and-do-the-whole-checklist" sense.)  Note that it's been half a month since my last post!  I think it's busy-ness in general that really suffocates my spirit's ability to breathe, whether I'm filling my days with religious OR secular activities.

When I pack my schedule so tight that I can't even have 5 minutes of quiet, I do my soul and body a disservice.  I sacrifice sleep time.  My brain cannot shut down.  How do I have time to think about things like God, let alone stop to just BE with God?  Even if I didn't believe in God's existence, I still believe that not taking this time to be quiet would in effect emasculate my essence from myself.  This quiet time truly helps me to find my place (and peace) in the world.

Ok.  So I loosen up my schedule.  I make it less crazy. I actually have spaces of 15 minutes of breathing room in between my activities. I'm good now, right?

WRONG.  The way I work at least, I find that even while I have spaces of unscheduled activity, I fill it, but not with the quiet that I was hoping for.  Even worse, I fill it with meaningless activity that does not feed my body or soul or mind. My brain is still on "hyper mode".  I find that in my attempt to build in places of rest, I actually use this free time to languish on silly things....that then spill over into my scheduled busy-ness and often take over my day, leaving me wondering what the heck I did all day.

I need to actually be INTENTIONAL about building in quiet space into my day.  Being quiet is actually a form of discipline to me.  To sit and meditate and not let my brain go a hundred miles per hour, takes quite a bit of effort.

So why don't I do something?  Even something small to start?  Running a marathon takes time to build into...why wouldn't the spiritual life take this sort of slow progress as well?  Well for one, I have a really hard time doing things that I can't do naturally right away.  Another, which I'll expand upon in the next post (which will hopefully occur sooner than a month from now) is that it's difficult to even start, because I have hang-ups on entering into a relationship with God. Basically, I fear that I won't able to control what I'll become if God gets a hold of me.

Yet another is that part of these hang ups include breaking apart my old notions of who God is, and while I did say that religion can get in the way of faith, it is also possible to go the other way and have a lack of traditional religious activities from which to grow.  I think my rejection of religion in favor of faith might have thrown the baby out with the bathwater, so to speak.  If I'm sure that God is not the being I had constructed in my head over the years, and I'm NOT taking time to be quiet, while also NOT spending time with people and Bibles, and other books to help my brain process this, then I'm not helping my progress in finding out who God really is anyway, am I?

Along with the previous thought, I believe currently that I am in a state of chaos.  Changes are happening: roommates are moving; I'm thinking of moving; I have more responsibility at work; my brain is in chaos and maybe I need to find a counselor.  I feel like I have not really had much constancy in my recent years...I've been attempting to find some stability in relationships that help me to grow spiritually and otherwise.  I will break this down more in future post, but suffice it to say, I think I need a small group or a few constant friends that I can check in with and talk about faith matters openly.  Right now, I feel like a ship without a Captain or crew and I need to find this crew that I can trust.

All of this will take intentionality.  I think I will start right now by leaving 5 minutes at the beginning of my day to just sit and meditate.  Acknowledge God, in whatever form God might be, and be thankful for another day to live in this strange and wonderful world.