The moments of our lives—the tick tock of our mundane lives—are scattered throughout the course of a day. Our routines—when we awaken, when we arrive for an appointment or our job, our departure to return home, and the myriad other things like lunch and meetings that comprise our routines—provide us a sense of purpose. When those routines come to a grinding halt in traffic or are intruded upon by forces that threaten to overwhelm us then, in those kind of moments, we are liable to sense our routines as so much threadbare wallpaper. We end up asking ourselves what we’re doing and why we’re doing it.
Those moments are intertwined with the moments of many, many other lives and events. And in turn, the weave of our interconnectivity is played out against a microwave background of tension that radiates the very city we live in: the federal city of the United States, a target of terrorists and the power grid of the powerful and those who want to be near the powerful. How does one keep one’s sanity in the midst of this? How does one arrive at an authentic sense of self so that when our routines are interrupted, when the traffic comes to a crawl, when a meeting goes spinning out of control, when getting home seems impossible, we are not ourselves spun into madness or purposelessness? Let me suggest something.
In whatever chaos or disintegration of the flow of your moments, put two fingers on your wrist, find your pulse and then, take a deep, deep breath. Pulse and breath. Remind yourself that these are the truly significant gifts. And whatever happens and however things play out today, it is this gift of life that graces us that matters. You’re alive. The world will be here tomorrow. Moments pass. In the time it takes you to feel your pulse and breathe deeply, you can discover how wonderful and strangely beautiful this all is.
One last idea—enter a holy place on Sunday and through worship, say thanks. When you practice a weekly rhythm of gratitude, your mundane moments will be placed into a larger, cosmic context. May the Peace of God that passes all understanding fill your hearts. Breathe deeply. Find the pulse.