As I looked over some poems I wrote years ago, this one jumped out at me. What struck me was how I still fight this temptation to remain uninvolved. Sometimes simply recognizing the battle is enough to spur me to action. “Really? You’re even considering ignoring your neighbor?” But more often I’m unconscious, not even noticing the situations, the people, I’ve ignored.
It’s easy to set our lives on autopilot, going through the motions of here and there yet barely registering what’s taken place. When you add into the equation our phones with all of their apps, it’s easy to see how quickly we can slip into the detached life. Perhaps there’s a Lenten discipline of being awake. What might that look like?
This next week I’m going to try to approach life with more alertness, more curiosity, more engagement. I’m going to try to play a game of sorts. I’ll call it, “Awake!” I plan to pay attention to:
- How many new things I can notice in my ordinary day?
- How many people do I make eye contact with? (being careful, as this could easily become really creepy really fast!)
- I could simply say inside my head “God bless you” as I notice each person. Maybe this would cause me to notice more deeply.
- If I’m tempted not to engage a situation, I’ll ask myself why, and then engage anyway. I’ll try to notice
- How does it change me to say yes rather than no?
- How is the other impacted?
- What were my fears, concerns, or other motives for not wanting to engage?
- Where do those thoughts and feelings come from?
Ready to wake up?