For this last stretch of Lent, I’ve been trying to grow in patience in a few small key ways.
I started to limit tracking things.
I noticed that I would unnecessarily follow things and that my time and mental energy could be better spent elsewhere. For example, when ordering packages online, I like to daily track their progress so I can see when they ship and when they should arrive at my house. That is entirely unwarranted–seeing where they are doesn’t make them arrive any faster and it isn’t crucial to see how long it took to transfer from one shipping carrier to another.
Or blog stats. When I post a blog, I like to monitor it to see how many views it gets and when they come in. Which countries are viewing my blog? What website leads them to my blog? All of which is unnecessary to follow so diligently. Occasionally looking at it is one thing, but semi-obsessively checking it in the first few hours or day after posting isn’t helpful.
I even noticed that I will habitually check my tire pressure, percentage of oil remaining, and battery life as I drive between work and home. Sometimes I do it so absentmindedly that I have to check it again because the numbers didn’t sink in as I reflexively scrolled through the stats. Over the past few days, I have found my left hand nearly twitching to see the various car facts appear on the display screen.
Continue reading “One small step for patience”
Beauty is unnecessary.
I thought about how unnecessary beauty is as I sat in the Cathedral and listened to an orchestra play. Although an amateur lover of beauty, I was able to see the magnificence of the architecture and the glory of the music coming from a variety of instruments. Providence placed us nearly as close to the orchestra as we could be without holding an instrument ourselves. Yet several times throughout the evening I would think about how unnecessary this all was.
If the world came from chaos and all of life means nothing, I am struck by the existence of the beautiful. Beauty is unneeded for life to exist. It is entirely extra and unnecessary. Yet while unneeded, it is the joie de vivre of life. While we could live without it, we would not want to do so. It enriches life ten-fold and I think that is as the Lord wanted.
We have a place in our hearts for the beautiful. It is why some people spend so much time staging pictures. We are drawn toward the beautiful. Although any mug would work for coffee, I am far more likely to choose the ones I deem more beautiful in some way. It is beauty that makes me notice the trees etched in silver or the special smile on my niece’s face. Beauty bypasses the need for reason, although we can give reason for why we find something beautiful, if pressed.
The Lord is the one of which all the beautiful, transitory things on earth reflect a glimmer. My heart is being prepared to encounter Beauty Himself when I take in the toothless grin of my nephew or the majesty of the Sistine Chapel. When I encounter Him in the simplistic beauty that surrounds me, I am widening my heart to receive more of Him later on. Continue reading “Unnecessarily Beautiful”