Jesus Slips Away

by Christine Sine

 

Andy Wade

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?

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5 comments

Sundee Frazier March 16, 2017 - 7:01 am

I LOVE this, Andy. Thank you for the prompt. I’m going to play too!

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afwade March 16, 2017 - 9:36 am

Thanks, Sundee. There are so many simple things we can do to become more awake, more aware, and more like Jesus. With all those opportunities it amazes me how easily I’m distracted.

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Christina Smith March 16, 2017 - 10:48 pm

I’m curious how it will change me to silently say God bless you to every face I see this coming week. Thank you for this insight! God bless you!

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Christine Sine March 17, 2017 - 8:38 am

What a great question to ask yourself Christine! I hope that you do it and we would love to hear about how it does impact you.

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afwade March 17, 2017 - 11:16 am

Hi Christina, I’ve done this in the past, as well as the discipline of randomly praying specifically for a certain number of people is see while I’m out and about. Since I believe in the power of prayer, I do believe it impacts their life even if I never know how. For me, it transforms my heart and mind. I become more aware and more engaged with the people and world around me. Even the simple act of saying God bless you in my head as I look at people changes my emotional distance to a kind of connection. I find I begin to actively recognize others as truly created in God’s image, not just rattle that off as my belief. I also find that I’m occasionally confronted with my own prejudices or bias’ and have to face any reluctance to bless another. It seems like such a trivial thing, and I suppose it could be depending on how one did it, but for me it retrains my brain to recognize, give thanks for, and emotionally engage with others rather than pretty much ignoring them. The other thing it does is help me to notice other people. That simple act of noticing, really seeing another, is the first step to getting involved in acts of loving and caring for one another. I hope this is helpful.

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