We learn to stop chasing experiences when we realize all of life is an experience.
One of the most difficult challenges I have faced in my spiritual journey has been transitioning out of chasing addictive, adrenaline-producing or accomplishment-seeking experiences to finding joy in the everyday, seemingly mundane realities of life. Addictive, adrenaline-based or work-based-success experiences can be Houdini-like in helping us escape boredom and drudgery; but, we often go through life myopically, as a result, missing all the light and joy around us.
I don’t think it was an accident the Israelites wandered in the desert for 40 years. I think God was dealing with them, and us, on a spiritual level first, before he moved them into a physical place of existence flowing with milk and honey. After having manna up to your eyeballs and quail up to your waist for what seemed like forever, I would assume milk and honey would be a rather delectable sight. But, they had to slow down for 40 years first.
Ok, there’s too much, let me sum up: When we slow down enough to even try to notice everyday things, we often immediately fail in our attempt because the voices in our lives that we’ve been muting finally have a chance to be heard, drowning out much of everyday life around us.
And sometimes, when our sore bodies, tired souls and past pains speak, we’d rather not hear them, thank you very much. So, we often get right back to work to succeed, or chase some other excitement-filled experience.
One of the most valuable lessons I’m trying to learn from the lives of the The Leadership Institute’s international friends who lead our International Journey training process is how God seems to always wait patiently for us until we stop chasing experiences and sit still long enough to hear from Him.
In America, we have so many more diversions and distractions than some of my friends overseas where pain and injustice are more insistent, more in-your-face. My friends must acknowledge the reality of pain in their lives, the injustices they’ve witnessed. I can lazily binge on Netflix instead, or feverishly get back to work – they both accomplish the same thing.
So, how about you? What happens when you slow down? Are there voices that need to be heard from long ago, from what seems like another life? Are there tough places God is wanting to speak in your life? The cool thing is, once you slow down enough for painful voices to be heard, to take their place in the landscape of your life, the everyday mundane stuff we’ve always labeled as boredom can suddenly spring to life with meaning and joy, like a single, previously myopically overlooked lily in a field. – Matthew 6:28
P.S. We are quickly filling up the next Generation of the Journey starting in January of 2017. If you, or someone you know, would benefit from this training, please let us know. Read more here: http://www.spirituallead
P.P.S. Let me know if you saw the white lily in the field the first time you looked at the above photo. 🙂