Everyday Spirituality

Posts tagged ‘emptiness’

Living in the Sidebar

I recently deleted every gadget from the sidebar on my laptop. Did I really need the calendar facing me all day long or the clock?

 I did not need the visual reminder to know that time is passing each time I press the power button.

The little picture was nice I guess, but it was not one I was particularly fond of it was just there. There was a pair of dials over there indicating my power usage, I think, but I did not really need those either.

So now there is this blank space… A noticeable emptiness.

Sometimes I feel like I am living over there in the sidebar. None of the icons I regularly access were in the sidebar. You have a few options as to what you want displayed in the sidebar. It is somewhat customizable.

So my newly customized life is mostly in the sidebar. It is not permanent just temporary. When you are sick you count on it being temporary until there comes a day when you must face the permanency of your illness. I keep coming back to the many examples I experienced walking the dreaded path with my friend.

Living in the sidebar is off the beaten path. It is mostly just an existence. You see it but you do not interact with what is there.

There are all of those other exciting icons or widgets that take you into programs where you can actually do something.

I am living in two places; sometimes I am in the sidebar and then I am back in with the other exciting icons. The sidebar is where I function on auto pilot. I take care of day to day business.

You do not make too many plans when you are in the sidebar. When you are living in the sidebar you must just surrender to what you must get done at that time. There are times when I lose track of what day of the week it is, especially when my routines must change.

That is what makes living in the sidebar a challenge. You lose your set of routines.

You try to hold on to the old routines but they are nontransferable.

Nontransferable is not a word I have thought about much before now. I want to be able to decide for myself what is and is not transferable. But that cannot be. I try to make new routines without missing the previous ones.

I confess I need to have the structure in my life. Living in the sidebar is less structured…less stable as well. Routines give you a sense of security. Maybe routines contribute to your goals in life too.

It is hard to have goals living in the sidebar. My main goal is to be the ‘lean too’. I am living in the sidebar to support my spouse during this challenging time in our life. Is this not what a dedicated loving spouse does?

The wedding vows make it quite clear that even if you must live in the sidebar for a period of time that is what you have committed to. Honoring such a commitment comes with the added grace you need to endure.

Without grace from God I would not have chosen to live in the sidebar. We are almost at the end of the first month. I pray that the next eleven months will go as smoothly as these past few weeks.

I still miss my friend but if she were still here and I had to spend much of my time away it would have been so much more difficult. I would have agonized over making the decision to be here or there.

God spared me from having to make that painful decision.

I must admit that God blesses you in the sidebar. He still answers prayers. He still protects and guides. In fact maybe it is easier to see God at work in your life when you are living in the sidebar there are few distractions. The phone does not ring… There is no junk mail… No appointments to keep… No one to talk with… No one to gripe to or about… I am not lonely… I am just quiet in this sidebar.

God is doing something; I will wait for his handiwork to be revealed.

In the meantime I can be more present to the now. The sidebar is the perfect place to let your mind be free; free to explore more of what makes you you.

God puts us exactly where he needs for us to be in order to help us grow. If we are not growing we are surely withering up until one day sadly we can no longer exist anywhere.

Trust that whatever is happening in your life God is busy creating something beyond your wildest dreams. Sometimes growth is only accomplished through pain.

May God bless you exactly where you are today.

Do not look for tomorrow to be better, because better might be right where you are today.

Things may be better living in the sidebar!

Who would have guessed?


Soul Stirrings: Waiting in Silence

Holy Saturday is about silent waiting. Jesus has been laid in the tomb, wrapped in the traditional burial cloths, and sealed in darkness with a large stone. We wait in the stillness of his promise of Resurrection. It is as if we are between breaths, the emptiness between words on a page. We wait with Mary.

Perhaps the women knew best this holding…this pause in the Divine plan. The other apostles may have still been in fear for their own safety, but the women kept watch. The women kept the hope alive through their silent waiting.

The agony of the crucifixion left them all numb and now there was this awful time of waiting. This kind of waiting I have experienced with many loved ones; as they wait for test results. In real life this silent waiting period does not always end in the Resurrection we had hoped. Sometimes the Resurrection is delayed and we may need to sit inside this Holy Saturday state a bit longer.

The Blessed Mother finds herself waiting again just as she was before the birth of Jesus. Once again she surrenders to the will of God the Father.

A mother feels such intense pain deep within at the loss of a child; Mary undoubtedly felt this agony mixed with the promise of her beloved Son’s Resurrection.

How she must have longed to hear his voice one more time…to look into his precious loving eyes. How she must have longed to hold him once again in her arms.

She might have heard echoing in her memory the words Simeon spoke, “And your own soul a sword shall pierce”.

She waited patiently filled with hope, clinging to the words her son spoke of returning on the third day. In spite of the stone blocking her from entering into the tomb with him; she kept watch nearby. In spite of the darkness within the tomb, Mary clings to hope.

The Blessed Mother is a brilliant example for us of Faith, Hope, and Love.  

Today the church leaves us in the stillness of darkness and sorrow to contemplate that Jesus died for each of us. The church appears barren. We have no Mass, no Holy Communion, and no Adoration.

We wait with Mary in silence.