“Thus the world grows rich, grows wild, and you too, grow rich, grow sweetly wild, as you to were born to be.” Mary Oliver
Our attention is diverted numerous times throughout the day.
Morning light exposes the spiderweb floating from the ceiling, just as we were about to sit down to talk with our spouse before work begins. We grab the duster from the corner and one spindly web leads to another.
Later, while asking the kids to choose a story to read aloud, the sound of our vibrating phone turns us towards a screen. It’s a message about an upcoming event we’re supposed to attend. We start typing a reply, oblivious to the kids who have run out the door to play.
In the afternoon, we step outside to take a walk, clear our mind, gather flowers from the garden, but find ourselves drifting towards the chicken coop to refill and clean their dirty waterers. A task we should have done weeks ago.
The three o’clock lull comes upon the house and our intention was to spend a couple of quiet hours working on secret project, a creative idea we’ve had bouncing around. But the smell of the food simmering in the crockpot reminds us to check on dinner, which leads us to wipe down the countertops, and sweep the crumbs off the floor beneath the high chair.
A day has a million rabbit trails, diverting us down paths we didn’t set out to explore. When we follow their lead, we will most likely end up in overgrown weeds and thick brush, tangled and flustered with what feels like no way out.
Distractions are a part of being human. No one is immune to the siren call of yet another thing, even if you are a minimalist monk living on a hillside in Italy.
Distractions are lurking, waiting for us, especially when we have a purpose in mind. A clear direction we are courageously pursuing.
The problem with most distractions is they usually don’t appear to be of any danger.
A clean house. A prompt reply. Tending to the animals. A tasty dinner. Of course, these are all necessary, good, and important activities, values we uphold. They are harmless, or so we think.
But do you notice how and what they silently snatch from you when put inside the larger scope of your day?
A seemingly innocent distraction allured you away from an intimate conversation with your spouse, a moment of connection with your kids, a peaceful contemplative walk, and time to dance with a dream.
Most of us settle, concede to the minor disturbance. Decide to attempt our original aspirations tomorrow. We forget what we were about to do altogether, without realizing we’ve been robbed.
There’s a difference between being spontaneous and being distracted.
The first comes from a place of listening and rest, an enlightened excitement to pursue a divine detour, a curve towards the Spirit. Here, we are open to unplanned opportunities for the sake of discovering what’s on the heart of God, excavating the stories of another human, or uncovering more life within.
The second, originates from a place of anxiety where our actions feel haphazard. We vacillate too easily between the bookends of our day. We wind around in boring circles, side-tracked and seasick, without passion or play.
I don’t know about you but I want my August days to be defined by this: Moving with a heightened awareness to the murmurs within me to “grow sweetly wild as you were born to be.”
When we doze off, because we all will, let’s retrace our steps back to where we started. When we felt the initial joy bubbling up, the mysterious leading nudging us out, the presence of peace pushing us forward, and the rush of risk gently brewing.
“When I am constantly running there is no time for being. When there is no time for being there is no time for listening.” Madeleine L’Engle
Especially For You: I’m offering a sneak peek into a new monthly travel journal for your soul that I’ve been creating. I’m giving you a copy of the August pages so we can ready our hearts for a month of being willfully wild!
Just go here to snag it & print it out! Enjoy!