A Different Perspective on Mindfulness
Hello there, Ladies (and gentlemen) that may be reading too 🙂
A lot is said today about mindfulness. It’s a buzz word – especially in the self-care and self improvement industries.
“Be mindful of what you eat or you risk over eating.”
“Be mindful of your surroundings so you’re in tune with nature.”
You may be a bit surprised to find out that while this mindfulness subject seems fairly recent, it isn’t at all. You may be even more shocked to learn that Jesus modeled mindfulness in His time here on earth. Have you ever noticed?
Here’s what I mean.
Jesus in Ministry
When He was here, walking this earth it’s an understatement to say He was busy! Everywhere He went crowds pressed in to see Him. Every day a new rumor spun around about Him healing the sick – and even raising the dead. It didn’t take much (even without smart phones or social media!) to get people’s attention. He taught, He healed, He fed. Imagine the crowds! Imagine the schedule! Imagine what it must have been like to be the one He decided to reach out and touch!
Here He was the Son of God. Everywhere He went there were things to do or that could be done. If anyone could have reason to say “there’s never enough time to do what needs to be done” Jesus could have legitimately said so. He didn’t. In fact, if you look at the stories a little closer, Jesus was never hurried. Never stressed. Never scrambled to leave someone else quickly so he could get to someone else that needed Him.
Jesus was mindful and lived in the moment.
When Jesus was with someone, He took His time. He listened and did not cut anyone short and say sorry, but I’m needed (up the street or in the next town) I have a healing to do and people to rise from the dead.
Mindfulness and Boundaries
In fact, there’s a story where this very apparent “tardiness or inaction on Jesus’s part came with a high price. (This speaks to boundaries, which we will cover in another post very soon 🙂
If you recall, Mary was crushed when He didn’t get to Lazarus “in time” to heal him and her disappointment was palpable as she spoke. “Why didn’t you get here sooner?” (John 11:17-32)
By the way, this Mary – was the same Mary that poured that prohibitively expensive perfume all over Jesus. This perfume, some scholars say, was the equivalent of a year’s salary. She gave it all to Jesus and yet Jesus couldn’t get to her brother on time to heal him? Ouch. Can’t you feel her pain?
I don’t pretend to know the mysterious reasons Jesus did what He did or didn’t do what He didn’t do. Nor is this a blog for theological debates.
My point is simply this: if even for Jesus, there was only so much He was supposed to do in a day, if for Him it was crucial to be 100% present in the moment…
If the Son of Man found it necessary to take his time with the task and the soul in front of him at that moment, how is it any different for us?
I wonder how much more stress we put on ourselves by thinking that we really are supposed to it all and be everything to everyone.
Whoa, slow it down. Breathe. Relax.
This week, I urge you.
- Notice the people in front of you.
- Silence the devices,
- Turn off the TV,
- Put away the to-do list,
- Listen without planning your next response or reply. (that’s a big one!)
- Just be in the moment.
- Be mindful.
I guarantee you’ll feel more calm, less driven, less stressed and you may even enjoy those moments “you don’t have time for” much more than you would have if it was a mindless interaction. The people you sit with or talk to just may feel like they are the only ones in the room. That casual “hello” in the grocery store may make someone’s day (and yours!) because you looked them in the eye and smiled genuinely and weren’t hurried.
These days because there’s so much on our plates and eye contact and genuine encounters are becoming extinct, it may change the people in your world if you just make this one small change. It will definitely change you.
Believe me, I’m just as easily distracted by the “next thing,” I’m just as easily weighed down at times with my “list.” But at the end of the day, life is fleeting and time is short. What matters most is our relationship with Jesus and our relationships with each other and the best thing is when our relationships with one another reflect that deep love He has for us. Let’s all be mindful of that! 🙂 Do you have any thoughts on this subject? I’d love to hear them. Please comment below.