This was a spring break like none other! Usually we’re out and about, enjoying the free time we’ve been looking forward to: trips with family, catching up on sleep, binge-watching the latest shows, playing some tunes, cooking a meal, or just doing nothing.
Ronald Rolheiser likens our busy lives to a car wash in his book, Prayer: Our Deepest Longing. “When you pull up to a car wash, you are instructed to leave your motor running, to take your hands off the steering wheel, and to keep your foot off the brake. The idea is that the machine itself will suck you through.”
He goes on to describe other signs of busyness: answering messages and reading articles before we’ve left bed. Consuming information and connecting with folks before breakfast. After the day has passed, we might find ourselves uncertain of exactly what we did that day. At the end of the week, we’re full of experiences sometimes left unprocessed.
Rolhesier makes the case that we are not more open or closed minded to prayer or solitude than other generations. His belief is that our generation is much busier than others. So busy, in fact, that we forget to pray. Or we dismiss prayer. We forget that we human beings have a need to stop, reflect, process, and connect with our God.
The week before we went on Spring Break, we had a heightened awareness of coronavirus and were bracing ourselves for its effects in our area. And here we are… day 1 of e-learning. A very new reality! Without all the normal routines we usually look to, what exactly do we do?
Now that our foot is on the brake, what do we do with all this time? It’s not like our “car wash” lives are exactly simpler just because we’ve been forced to slow down. Keeping up with commitments, jobs, ministries, relationships, and other responsibilities is now a lot more challenging.
While figuring out a new routine, dealing with loved ones, trying to stay positive, and counting the tiles on your kitchen floor, let’s remember to take a step back in order to take a step forward towards God. Let’s keep connected with one another and especially to God who has given us the gift of connection through prayer.
Socially distant but spiritually close,
Br. Luis Ramos