Tuesday, August 10, 2010
Climb EVERY Mountain?
"I glanced over at Dad. He smiled with affirmation. My thoughts began to wander. How do we know when we are loved? Is it that look of acceptance, a smile and warm embrace? Or is it when someone buys us crap we don't need or lets us have our own way?
"... Isn't one illustration of God's love the offering of his constant presence to us? Even still, my struggle to show up for others remains. What does it say when I withhold this valuable commodity? Busyness is the ultimate trump card. It will get you out of virtually every social situation, or at least buy you amnesty a few times when you let a friend down. ...If I'm busy, I don't have to be responsible for what I fail to do...
"Like any other addiction, busyness works so well. It gives us the edge to avoid emptiness loneliness, unpleasant memories, hurt, intimacy - and consequently, the clarity that silence and an unhurried life can bring. Still, almost everyone I know is trying to get caught up, trying to commit to fewer things, and aching to get away from the frantic race that consumes modern America...
"Truth is, sometimes I don't want a slow-paced, intentional life. I have systematically engineered a life of chaos. The consequences at least appear better than facing the reality of my own life. And so each generation is more disconnected than the last. When I look around at the world, I see a bunch of people desperate to know they are loved living in the shadows of a community too busy to pay attention to anyone but themselves.
"...Dad and I meandered our way back to the car. In contentedness and silence I drove home. Here I was, spending all this time with my dad. My motivations were thrills and accomplishments. What were his? He didn't care about accomplishments. He was content reading an ancient book and falling asleep in front of the TV watching some old musical. Why was he climbing these giant mountains with his temperamental son? The answer was right in front of me, yet it would take years for me to discover."
Source: Wisdom Chaser: Finding My Father at 14,000 feet, by Nathan Foster, afterword by Richard J. Foster. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2010. pp. 42-44.
See also the excerpt found on the author's website, Answers Found on Mount Quandary.