Winter has a beauty all of its own.
Here in the KZN midlands, it’s the frost-laden lawns and the fresh nip in the air as you step outside in the mornings, or after the sun goes down in the evenings. It’s all this juxtaposed with the starkness of the brown, jaded landscapes at midday, and the sunlight’s warmth on our faces at noon. It’s hibernation season, and even more so over lockdown. Some people think of this as a bad thing. For me, it’s been cause for some healthy introspection.
The Discipline of Grateful Moments
The Calders are trying to find fresh rhythm. Our weeks are busy, and so Tam insisted that our weekends begin with walks in the nearby forest as a family. My contribution has been purposefully slower Sundays. This discipline that we have put into our weekly rhythm has really allowed me to take a deep breath and be thankful for this life. It’s regular, predictable intervals such as this which allow for moments amidst the madness to be mindful of what’s going on around us and process what’s been.
It didn’t come about easily, I might add. We’ve battled a few things as a family. Figuring out new rhythms and trying to find balance is often like one step forward, two steps back in this crazy world. We’re surrounded by demands, challenges and crises – both individually and corporately – and it’s naive to think you can just answer the questions life throws at you by Googling them.
Life has been hard on a number of people recently, I know. Work strains, job losses, relational problems and various other challenges brought on suddenly by Covid-19. Suicides, particularly amongst young people, is an alarming wake-up call for where the world is at in 2020.
I’ve been intrigued with the issue of comparison recently. I think we do it all the time, more unconsciously than we’re aware. It might sound like old hat to some, but I’ve noticed that this is particularly true of young people and social media.
An American writer put it this way:
We know we’re obsessed with our devices, but we don’t know how to manage the challenges that come with using them, and these problems continue to multiply.Craig Groeschel, #struggles
We’re busy…but bored.
We’re full…but empty.
We’re connected…but lonelier than ever.
Our lives are filled with more activities than we would have thought possible, but we often feel hollow at the end of the day. We have more stuff—cars, homes, clothes, gadgets, toys—than any generation in history, yet still we long for more.
We’re more connected online than ever, but we often feel more alone than we know how to describe.
I’ve been reflecting on the state of my soul recently, and the busyness of our world, even amidst lockdown.
I don’t think we ever escape busyness in this modern world of ours. As you live and breathe, you’ll have busy period of your life. But there is a distinct difference between being busy and being hurried. Busy is an external state. Hurried is an internal state. And to me, much of the world seems hurried these days.
You notice it in the way we speak to each other, and how we treat each other. It’s like our souls are not keeping up with our bodies.
Every now and again though, you have a moment. In nature, by the seaside, or in the midst of the flurry. Or perhaps you meet someone who is unhurried. For me, it’s generally been an older person.
And it does your soul good.
We need to find those people in our lives and look after the state of our souls.