Saturday, March 16, 2013

Blinded by Minutia

I am being reminded of an important insight that led me to change my name to "he who does not know." It is this, I suffer from spiritual blindness.

Lately, I see it manifested as a preoccupation with minutia. My imagination gets stuck on this or that injustice or personal foible that I can't seem to forgive. Which leaves me trying to figure our whether or not I ought to do or say something. But I can find no clarity. My thoughts continue to swirl around these sorts of issues and my emotions trail behind or run ahead like a dog in a parking lot overwhelmed by a dozen scents.

The direction that I found at the time of my name change was to acknowledge my blindness and give my attention to God. Practically that means return my attention to the present moment each time I notice it slipping into a familiar rut. This required that I first become confident that God is present and creatively active in each new moment, a.k.a. new mercy.

New and creative are the key words here. Now when my brain slips into one of its old familiar ruts which are not characterized by new ways of seeing or creative responses, I want to let it be a reminder of my blindness. A reminder that my familiar preoccupations block me from turning to the source of all creativity.

The hard part, of course, is that creativity demands waiting and watching. Easy and automatic results in old and familiar. This is the contemplative path, orienting ones heart, mind, and imagination to a position of waiting and watching by becoming aware of ones attachments and automatic responses. And by so doing, making space to be surprised by the divine artist.

David Norling


RC said...

David, what an effective image you used: "like a dog in a parking lot overwhelmed by a dozen scents." It is a vivid reminder of how fragmented and superficial our awareness so often is. Like you, I deeply desire to make "space to be surprised by the divine artist." Thank you for sharing with this kind of vividness, helping us to be more aware and more present. It is my prayer for us all.

Anna Cotton said...

David, your ending immediately brought to mind the book Surprised by Joy by C.S. Lewis. It makes me smile even as I write. God seems to delight in getting our attention in unexpected ways, doesn't he? Your reflection helps me embrace the watching and waiting part. Blessings, Anna

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