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Imagine . . .
fishermen, laboring with their nets, in boats that are filthy from wear,
knee deep in crud of their trade, and reeking from the smell of fish.
When out of the blue, comes a man walking along the edge of the water,
who calls to them, saying, “Come follow me!”
And they drop their nets, get out of their boats, and go after him.

Now, I ask you, “Who does this?!!!”
They dropped their lives to follow a man they may or may not have even known.
I was talking to my husband, Andy, about this and he said,
“At least one of them had to go home and talk to their wife before quitting their job.”
Maybe so, we just don’t know.

What happened between, the guys were fishing
AND
they dropped what they were doing to follow Jesus?
There had to be some kind of conversionary PAUSE between the fishing and the following.

So, I began looking into my own life for clues.
I experienced an instantaneous infilling of love from God when I was in my late teens, at a time when I felt directionless, an empty. It was nothing that I planned or could have made happen, yet, in a PAUSE, created by a void in my life, the tenderness of God penetrated my heart for the first time in my life.

I wonder. . did something like this happen to the disciples?

It’s true that one very powerful way that PAUSES occur,
are through emptiness, a loss, an illness, or some great problem.
But most people don’t have instantaneous awakenings.
Rather, most people can relate to a smaller step approach of awakening,

Eckhart Tolley, in his book, A New Earth, speaks to this.
He says that there is a universal inner purpose for all of humanity
and that is to AWAKEN.
That’s it, ladies and gentlemen!
Our inner purpose is to awaken.
And awakening occurs in the PAUSES of our lives.

It’s so important to know that:
both the INTIMACY of God and POWER of God are in the nothingness of the PAUSE.
And as we attune ourselves to this,
we come to desire this spaciousness even more then the incessant chatter in our minds. Now, this doesn’t mean we constantly sit around in a Zen position waiting for ‘the PAUSE’; it means that the freedom and communion brought about through prayer PAUSES and situational PAUSES, eventually become a part of us, and we carry this undercurrent of stillness into the everyday activity of our lives.
And this changes everything.

An Eastern spiritual teacher writes: Thinking, though useful, is not the highest human faculty. We cannot solve the problems of the mind with the mind, by analyzing them, thinking about them, ruminating over them.
It’s in the PAUSE.
It’s in the stillness of our mind, that new ways of being are developed.

The ancient Indian Sanskrit word for breath is ‘otman’,
which means the ‘indwelling of the divine spirit’ or ‘God within’.
Paying attention to our breath causes us to PAUSE. We can’t think about anything else when we concentrate on our breath. Because breathing is a formless expression, it has been used over the centuries as a way of intentionally creating a PAUSE.

A little boy once approached his Rabbi and asked, “Rabbi, why does God no longer speak to his people? He spoke so beautifully to Abraham. He spoke with such power to Moses. He spoke so clearly to Jeremiah and the prophets. Rabbi, why does God no longer speak to his people?” The Rabbi shook his head as though he were in pain. “My son,” he replied, “It is not that God no longer speaks to his people. It is that no one these days can stoop down low enough to listen. No one . . . can stoop down low enough . . . to listen.”

PAUSE.

I wrote these words as I lay in the grass on a lovely summer day.

I sat among the trees
as the wind whipped through them.
I saw and felt and heard,
staying attentive for moments at a time.

Until …
I fell back asleep.
My thoughts
lost once again,
in the future,
and the past.
Flitting like a fire fly,
here and there,
back and forth,
up and down,
down and up,
going were they will.

When . . .
a moment
an hour,
a day go by
And I awaken again.

PAUSE.

Kristie Lenzen
1/24/14
3RD SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME, YEAR B

Photo by Lucas Jans on flickr.com

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