by Neal Avirett, Associate Pastor

In light of Jesus’s life, here are a few questions I’m asking myself these days about my own mindfulness.

Mindfulness is paying attention to what’s going on in you, the people around you, and the circumstances most in need of our full participation. It’s observing everyone and everything and helping to bring all the pieces together for a bigger purpose than just yourself. It’s really a spiritual concept. Listen to a few of these prayers from scripture and from a letter between a spiritual parent and child:

“But I am afflicted and needy; May the Lord be mindful of me.” – Psalm 40:17

“For He Himself knows our form; He is mindful that we are nothing but dust.” – Psalm 103:14

“The Lord has been mindful of us; He will bless us.” – Psalm 115:12

“For I am mindful of the sincere faith within you, which first dwelled in your grandmother Lois and your grandmother Eunice, and I am sure that it is within you as well.” – 2 Timothy 1:5

Over the spring and summer months, I struggled to name that feeling of mindfulness. I had associated it with making mistakes, or not being smart enough to make better decisions. Instead, it’s the potential of living into more of God’s grace. Though it was difficult to name it, I bumped into moments that would help me.

When I ate a meal, there was a satisfaction with one plate, instead of hungering or competing for seconds. While walking, sometimes I found myself paying more attention to how I was feeling, really feeling as a human being, rather than focusing on a checklist when I returned to the office or home. I remember feeling somewhat relieved after receiving the first of two vaccinations for Covid-19, yet forgetting that the vaccine was still not available to everyone.

In light of Jesus’s life, here are a few questions I’m asking myself these days about my own mindfulness:

  • How am I putting people above personal schedule and ideology? – Jesus’s brothers (Jn.7:5–7), and the criminals crucified with Him on the cross and the crowds looking on.
  • When do I treat outsiders like the insiders they already are? – The woman at the well. (Jn.3)
  • How many people of other religions do I invite to my parties? – The Magi. (Matt. 2)
  • Can I keep silent when someone asks what is truth? – Pontius Pilate. (Jn. 18:37-38)
  • How do I feel and treat uninvited guests? – The woman weeping on Jesus’s feet. (Lk.7:38)
  • Can I drink wine and walk away from a fight with my mother? – Mary. (Jn.2:4)
  • How many people working for the IRS do I call friends? — Levi. Zacchaeus. All guests at the house party in Matt. 9:10.
  • How much do I dwell on and tell others about what I’ve accomplished in the first 30 years of my life, rather than living each day for others like I have three years left? – Lk 3:23
  • How am I treating people like children and children like people? – Matt. 18:2-4