Friday, February 18, 2011


Window at John XXIII Pastoral Center, Charleston
I received this quote by Philip Yancey (Reaching for the Invisible God) today in my email:
Monastics (monks and nuns) have a practice they call statio that means, simply, stopping one thing before beginning another.  Rather than rushing from one task to the next, pause for a moment and recognize the time between times.  Before dialing the phone, pause and think about the conversation and the person on the other end… I find that if I take time to pray for the recipient before beginning to compose a letter or before making a phone call, it makes the task less of a chore and more of an opportunity in which to receive or express God's grace.  In life, we rush from one thing to the next, or we "multitask" -- doing more than one thing at a time.  Do we stop? 
When I post a picture on this blog, I do a little bit of work ahead of time.  I choose the image, crop it in order to focus the readers' eyes on the portion of the image I think communicates my message, or to just improve the composition, and then I add a 3 point black margin. 

Should I be doing that in life?  Should I be stopping, and adding a margin to what I am doing? 

When I worked in the lab, and my boss would call, his first question was automatically, "What's going on?"  He wanted to know what I was doing, how experiments were progressing, etc.  Knowing he might be calling, whenever the phone would ring, I would pause, and formulate in my mind the answer to his question.  In a world where I was probably doing five things at once, it helped to take a moment to form a cohesive answer prior to the question being asked.  The preparation was useful.

Should I be doing that in life?  Should I be taking time to prepare, to think, to pray, before I move from one activity to the next?  Would that little bit of margin invite God in?

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