I’ve just recovered from some minor abdominal surgery.
Nothing major…just on-going repair work to a mortal frame that, for the most part, serves me well.
Given the nature of my procedure, I spent a night in hospital and then came home with instructions to spend time in bed. The enforced rest caused me to slow down. I must admit it’s the most ‘unproductive’ I’ve felt for years…but despite the frustration my idle hands afforded me I embraced the ‘down-time’ and allowed my body to heal.
I think this ‘go-slow’ point in my life (as short as it has been) has revealed a small gem; a small gem that may have remained undiscovered had I not been caused to pause the frenetic pace of my western life. Permit me to explain further…
Once my initial recovery (only a week) had been secured, my wife (Jodie) and children went on a short holiday (3 days) with some of Jodie’s girl friends. I stayed at home to mind our ageing dog, feed the cat and continue my physical rehabilitation. Having slowed right down I was not tempted to work (which I would have normally done), nor was I overly keen to spend time with people (I’m an introvert by nature). Besides the dog and cat, I only had to take care of myself…I could literally do anything I wanted…for me. Before I continue, let me state that my life is not lived void of these moments/opportunities…but three days in a row is rare.
What to do? It occurred to me that some gentle walking might be a good idea post surgery, and we have a nature reserve at the end of the street, so the destination was a no-brainer. I have also been taking up an interest in photography lately (mostly taking pictures of the kids) so I grabbed my camera as I headed out the door.
I have walked (and run…well, jogged) through our local reserve many times…but, at a slower pace, and with camera in hand, it was like I was seeing the familiar for the first time. Much to my delightful surprise I not only saw…I stopped, observed, enquired and wondered. I was in the reserve for well over an hour…having loved every minute.
The next day, feeling inspired and energised by the previous day’s bush walk, I decided to drive down to the cliffs of Kangaroo Point. Again, my meandering gait caused me take pause many times, aim my camera’s lens and shoot. Yes, the photography causes me to look for the interesting shot…a shot that tells a story; but I think it was the deceleration of life’s unrelenting forward motion that enabled me to ‘be in the moment’ and truly observe all that was going on around me.
My recent discovery therefore is that Psalm 46:10, “Be still and know that I am God” requires action on my behalf. Firstly, I need to stop and be. It is in the ‘stopping’ and ‘being’ that we can be mindful of all God is; in us, around us, through us.
I am not naive enough to believe that I can linger forever on this mountain. Life will, and does go on…at its usual blithering velocity. But maybe the lesson for me is that I am the one who can choose to step off the merry-go-round. Maybe I can choose to, at times, step to the side of life’s never-ending provocations, grab my camera and go for a walk.