I am having a tranquil day. My most ambitious projects are already done (turn the garden water supply on and fill the tree gators). My wife is out of town and my son is playing contently with his new friend.
As I write this, I am looking out the window on a gray Saturday morning. The tree in my front yard is budding. I have several bird feeders hanging from its branches. It is a popular hangout for the avian crowd. The dog is lying next to me on the couch snoozing, slightly annoyed that I am typing and not rubbing his tummy.
I am enjoying a rare treat, privacy. During the week, I am consumed by work. I come home, eat dinner, play with my son until bedtime and then shift my brain into neutral while living vicariously through the make believe world of TV. Most weekends are used up on sports and errands. But not today, today is a true Sabbath.
It is in quiet moments, when I have nothing to do, that I feel connected. Ironically I am surrounded by people most of the time, but we are all going if different directions. I have lost the ability to be in the moment with others. My mind is constantly working on a checklist that must be completed. Problem is the list just keeps growing. There is no done, just ignoring.
But in this moment, I am part of everything. I peck away at the keyboard, but my focus is on the now. Busyness is a faith toxin. At this particular moment in my life, there is not much faith to poison. But I feel connected. I know it is not much, but it is something.
Growing up, I felt most connected at church. But it was a very structured connection. There were tight rules and boundaries. There was a chasm between “us” and “them.” A poor substitute for what I am experiencing now.
I have erased most of the religious experiences of my childhood. But now there is room, room for new discoveries. I am sticking my toe back into the universe of faith. But I am trying to enter the water naked. Not weighed down with tightly binding clothes I have accumulated over time.
This too may lead to a dead end. But maybe it is the start of something new.