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What if today is the day you’ve been hoping for?

 How would you choose to live it out?  You opened your eyes to a new sunrise, a new display of nature’s magnificence. You’re included in God’s master plan for humanity.  How will you choose to spend it?  I first thought seriously about this concept as a 17 year old high school senior.  I was chosen to play the lead character, Emily, in the play “Our Town” by Thornton Wilder.  Little did I know that role would change my life forever.  Even now, I could cry as I recall the moment.  Emily was a young woman who died giving birth to her first child.  There was a scene after her death in which she pleaded with the Narrator, who was the God character, to live once again.  After some deliberation on his part, her desire was granted; to come back to earth for just one more day.  “Make it an insignificant day”, said the Narrator, “for it will be significant enough”.  Emily was thrilled and spontaneously blurted out, “My twelfth birthday!”.  She began to relive this ‘insignificant day’ with her family in the scene, just as it had happened.  Suddenly her eyes were opened as she tried without success to get her mother to stop and truly listen to her.  From her new vantage point, she could now see the beautiful gift of life in the simplest moments.  “Mamma, look at me, really, really look at me.”, she said, as her mother busily scurried about trying to prepare the meal.  As the scene unfolded Emily could not contain her feelings any longer.  Turning to the Narrator, she burst into tears crying out with deep sadness, “Doesn’t anyone realize life while they’re living it, every, every minute?”  He wisely replied, “Some poets do, I suppose”. Thornton Wilder, in his great wisdom, unveiled the meaning of the play and life in that one sentence,  “Doesn’t anyone realize life while they’re living ?”.  

Will you realize life while you’re living it?  I ask myself once again, that same question; will I realize life while I’m living it?  While I still have breath?  As you’re reading this, turn inward and notice that yearning you feel right now as it emanates from the deepest recesses of your being.  It is the desire to live fully, authentically, deeply connected and engaged.  To know God and be known by God.  To love and be loved.  The spiritual journey is the foundation for all of life, for it is life and life is the container for relationship, first with God, then with self, others and the world.  How will you choose to honor this day, to receive the gift of this day?  Don’t let another moment go by, another breath leave your body without your awareness of the magnificence that is your life.  Don’t wait until your moments are numbered before you wake up on the inside and cherish each one, for even the most insignificant of days is significant enough.  

Being Present Is Simpler Than You Think

I make it a habit to ask anyone I come in contact with a simple question.  Whether in a store, on the street, getting gas at my local gas station, etc.  when the opportunity presents itself I always ask, “How’s your day?” Most respond surprised  and with a simple answer like “It’s ok.”,  “Not bad.” or “Good, work is almost over.”  It’s a way to help me be more present and notice the person in front of me.  I don’t believe in coincidence so I will say God caused my path to cross with a man yesterday who until then, was a complete stranger.  As I looked into his eyes I felt prompted to ask a simple question, “How’s your summer been so far?”  I expected to hear one of the typical answers of, too short, too hot, too busy, but not this time.  He looked up at me with the saddest eyes and said, “Not good, not good at all.”  I was taken aback but quickly replied, “Oh, what’s happening?”  Without hesitating he answered, “My wife is on hospice and is going to die any day now.”  I was blown away and in that moment I understood how profoundly important it is to be present to this man.  I looked deep into his eyes and said, “I am so very sorry.  Truly sorry for your loss.”  It’s as if time stood still for a brief moment.  I reached out to take his hand and he reached back with both hands.  I held his hands in mine and simply looked at him.  No words were necessary.  It was a moment of deeper connection that I speak about all the time.  Had I been lost in thoughts of anxiety, worry, doubt or judgment about something else, I would have missed it completely.  Consolation, connection and a sincere smile is what he needed and what I needed to share.  That was a moment of being present to the Presence of God I hope I never forget.  What did the moment require?  Me.  Looking at the person in front of me. Seeing him.  Engaging him. Listening to him.  Reaching out, bringing a simple word of consolation and silently praying for him.  God happens when we least expect God to show up. 

Transformation happens in the ordinary moments.  If you string together enough of those moments through the simple way of seeing, listening, reaching out, connecting and praying you will experience the peace and contentment you long for through the  life-giving, life-changing Presence of God.

The Tomb Is Empty, Now What?

The world just celebrated the highest holiday on the Christian calendar, Easter.  The day we honor the resurrection of Jesus the Christ from the grave.  The day we celebrate new life.  

Spring reminds us that new life exists in all of nature, but Easter reminds us new life exists for each one of us.  Without the Resurrection we’d be left with no way out;  left dealing with the darkness our own wounds and dysfunction create.  Without the Resurrection we’d be faced with perpetuating these same wounds on others.  Without the Resurrection we’d be left with the impossible task of having to redeem our lives from the pit of our own despair.  We’d be left with the fact that a dysfunctional, false self can not transform itself into one’s true Self, one’s Christ Self for there would be no Christ self.  

Because Jesus lived truth, fully human and fully divine.  Because He showed it’s possible to live always in union with God the Father, the Creator.  Because His body absorbed the wounds from all of  humanity.   Because the death of His mortal body could not keep Him in the grave.  Because the Presence and Power of the Spirit of the Most High triumphed over death.  Because He lives we too can live.  Too great a mystery to comprehend, only to be received as pure gift.  There is just one major, existential question that Jesus walking out of the tomb creates, “Now what?” 

The only answer is to follow the Master into new life the way He taught and lived, the contemplative way.  The way of tending to your soul.

You are a follower of Christ wanting to answer the ‘now what?’ with your life.  You are a follower of Christ wanting to rise out of the darkness of codependency, anxiety and depression, addiction, grief, shame or whatever is keeping you stuck .  Have you been putting off whole-hearted living and tending to your soul?

Do you find yourself saying “Tomorrow, I’ll pay more attention to this transformation thing”.  “Tomorrow I’ll get to this prayer, meditation thing.”  “Tomorrow I’ll go to that recovery meeting.”  The list goes on.  Guess what?!  Tomorrow is today.  Resurrection life is now.  What does that mean for you?  Christ is tapping on your heart, shaking up your old belief system and patterns of thinking.  Does it seem a bit daunting?  You don’t have to do this new life on your own. 

The way has already been forged for you, but you have to take the steps to intentionally tend to your soul.  The Deeper Connection is here for you.  Spiritual Direction, Centering Prayer and Lectio Divina, a deeper prayer life, meditation, an intentional new way of living, is all possible.  You do not have to stay in your tomb.  You do not have to figure this out on your own.  You happened upon this blog article for a reason.  I’ve been where you are.  I have felt what it’s like to live in the dark and follow the Christ way out of the tomb.  

Contact me, like The Deeper Connection facebook page, listen to the prayer tracks on Insight Timer, subscribe to The Deeper Connection YouTube channel, schedule a Spiritual Direction appointment.  I would love to partner with you on your transformation journey, the contemplative way to new life.  It is time.