Saturday, December 8, 2012

Expectant in Bethlehem: Saturday of the First Week of Advent

Turn again to your rest, O my soul,
   for the Lord has treated you well.
   Psalm 116:6

I sink into the unhurried moment. Finally. It is easier to breath from here. Although I got up at my usual hour, the morning caught me by surprise and it is noon before I can seem to get my bearings. Why am I rushing about?

My body begins to soak up the quietude, and I consciously relax into the richness of the fare here. Then, with the briefest of nods to the tranquility on offer, I pick up my to-do list once again. But I have moved away from the respite too soon and the stress jumps at the opportunity to constrict me.  Like days I attempt a workout at the gym without being thoroughly warmed up, I have no flexibility or stamina.

Why is it I resist the pull to linger in the unhurried moment? Why am I content to take a fast-food approach with my soul, grabbing a quick prayer on the go as if that will sustain me?

The two hemispheres of our brain control different functions, popular psychology often preaches. Yet neuroscientists tell us it is the integration of these two hemispheres that bring to the fore our greatest resources. The brain has the ability to reorganize itself to form new neural connections throughout our life. The more intentional we are about keeping these two hemispheres connected and communicating, the more access we have to our brain’s resources. Creating and maintaining this connectivity takes practice, and is something that cannot be hurried.

Perhaps there is a reason that “hurried” looks so much like “harried.”

copyright © Anne E. Kitch 2012