Have you ever stopped to think about how many individual choices we make in the course of a day? How many voices clamor and compete for our attention?
I chuckled to myself the other day when an article came across my feed that said something about being in ministry and being nibbled to death by a million tiny tasks (source).
For a long time, that’s what life has felt like for me. Like it’s this endless cycle of growing to-do lists and checking things off, only to start another to-do list the next day.
I was convinced I would find peace, that I would stop feeling so restless, that I would feel like I’d finally arrived once I finished that project, once the house was clean, once all the boxes in my to-do list had a checkmark next to it.
I was mindlessly laying my offerings at the altar of to-do lists and getting things done. And in reality, I was being nibbled to death by a million tiny tasks.
It’s only recently, because of the time that I’ve been spending doing the Examen, that I’ve been nudged awake, my awareness unfolding and recognizing that I had been wandering away from who I am, forgotten who God has called me to be.
In Compassion, Nouwen talks about the interconnectedness of discipline with discipleship:
In the Christian life, discipline is the human effort to unveil what has been covered, to bring to the foreground what has remained hidden, and to put on the lamp stand what has been kept under a basket. It is like raking away the leaves that cover the pathways in the garden of our soul. Discipline enables the revelation of God’s divine Spirit in us (Nouwen et. al. 88).
It’s not a coincidence that the discipline of prayer is the one thing that most Christians find the most difficult to commit to. Because it is everything, and the Enemy knows that and will do everything to prevent you from figuring that out.
Because once we begin to understand prayer as the key to unlocking everything — once we see it as the way God reminds of who we really are, as the way to practice hearing God’s voice and seeing where God moves — that’s when we begin to experience life in all its fullness.
Or, like I was telling my husband earlier today. It’s like I’ve been going through life with one arm and it just grew back.