Two separate conversations about rhythms of contemplation have cropped up this week. One was brought up by Emily while we were falling asleep the other night. She discussed her desire for us to build some healthy patterns in our lives that are directed at hearing God, slowing down life, and sharing in one another’s spiritual growth.
The second time was today while working at the bookstore. Professor Jude Tiersma-Watson, a teacher I highly respect and enjoy talking with came in the store today looking for a Henri Nouwen book on Advent. She told me that building rhythms in her life with her husband has been something they too have been working at and they have decided that with Advent here it’s a good time to turn our attention toward it. We talked a little about the difficultly in building patterns of life in the urban landscape, a place where life buzzes all day and all night long. And on top of that there is always the unending quest to get more done, to climb to the top of the pile. Both these factors have made it difficult for Christians like myself to maintain healthy patterns of contemplation.
I am going heed Emily’s desire and Jude’s advice and take the Advent season to work on some patterns. What those are I am still not quite sure of, but some kind of reading with the church calendar will be necessary.
I am curious what the rest of you think about this need, the things that stand in our way, and some helpful “patterns” you’ve witnessed or participated in, especially with Christmas in mind.