I Corinthians 4:8-9
"We are hard-pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed."
According to neuro-scientists, our brains receive about 11 million bits of information every second! What? That seems unreal, doesn’t it? But it is true! Of course, these bits of information are largely processed by our unconscious mind. According to the same neuro-scientists, we are only able to process 5-9 thoughts in our conscious mind in any given moment! Essentially, one could conclude, that we are all walking around unconscious!
Most of us feel the sting every single day of the enormous number of stimuli that come into our experience as humans. It is overwhelming often, taxing regularly, stressful sometimes, and reasonable occasionally. We are pressed on every side as we try to juggle all the balls that are part of our daily experience.
It is little wonder that our culture seems to have become mindless...unaware of what is happening right in front of us...oblivious to the needs of those all around us...numb to the ways we treat one another...asleep to the basic courtesies that were once part of our living fabric.
So, mindfulness, begins with recognizing that our common experience is not very mindful–that we are sleepwalking through much of our daily lives blind and crashing into things. We stumble from place to place caught in a whirlwind of thoughts, missing what is right in front of our nose. Often, the storm of thoughts is not pleasant to be caught up in. We ruminate over what someone said earlier, what we should have said in reply, what happened ten years ago, or what we have to do tomorrow. Our minds are exhausting, and therefore, we may feel exhausted.
The mindful approach is to invite a gap in the endless stream of thoughts and emotions. We train ourselves to wake up; to open a door and let in some fresh air and space. We allow ourselves to be present to the energy of our experience, right here, right now. We discover the possibility of waking up to how things are in each moment. We explore what it means to pay attention to what is going on in our body, our mind, and our environment.
The scripture written at the beginning of this devotion, invites us to a way of life that is mindful and reminds us that when we are present to the Spirit (who is in all the moments of life), then...
“We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.”
So what will it be for you...mindless or mindful? Choose well!
Here’s to being present!