I confess that I often live on autopilot. I wake at the usual time of 6:00 am. I run the same four mile route most mornings. Afterwards, I heat my milk in the microwave in the same cup and pour in the same amount of instant coffee and creamer. And the day rolls on.
Autopilot is not all bad, but I am discovering that I often use autopilot with people as well. When I greet someone at church or my small group, I exchange the same daily pleasantries, expecting the same answers. I am beginning to realize that I may be “sleepwalking” through much of life.
This month I am embracing the idea of a Fresh Start. It comes from Eugene Peterson’s translation of a familiar verse: 2 Corinthians 5:17.
The familiar NRSV translation is:
So if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new!
Eugene Peterson’s The Message is:
Now we look inside, and what we see is that anyone united with the Messiah gets a fresh start, is created new. The old life is gone; a new life burgeons! Look at it!
I seek to practice a fresh start each day, aware of the new each moment holds. Part of this fresh start has been using morning yoga as a form of meditation to open my mind, body and spirit. Like a young child exploring the world, I seek to see a new creation. In Christ I am a new creation, with a new mind and new eyes and ears to experience God’s world. I want to embrace Peterson’s admonition, “Look at it!”
John Kabat-Zinn in Full Catastrophe Living describes this as beginner’s mind. He writes,
The next time you see somebody who is familiar to you, ask yourself if you are seeing this person with fresh eyes as he or she really is, or if you are only seeing the reflection of your own thoughts about the person, and your feelings as well. Try it with your children, your spouse, friends, co-workers, and even with your dog or cat if you have one. Try it with problems when they arise. Try it when you are outdoors in nature. Are you able to see the sky, the stars, the trees, the water, and the rocks as they are right now, with a clear and uncluttered mind? Or are you actually seeing them only through the veil of your own thoughts, opinions, and emotions. (Fully Catastrophe Living, 2013, p. 24).
The idea of approach each day, each moment, each encounter as a Fresh Start is challenging. I often slip back into autopilot thinking and reacting. Yet each time I slip, I have the opportunity to embrace a new Fresh Start. Thanks be to God.
How do you respond to God’s invitation to a Fresh Start?
Lord Jesus, open my eyes to see you new each day.
Your picture of yoga along with this post is very appropriate, as when practicing yoga we try to always be present and mindful. That means focusing on the present moment, not the past or future and always being open to what is to come. It has given me a new slant on life, my faith and relationships with others. Sounds like a Fresh Start for me. Thanks John, as always, your blog hits home again.
My yoga instructor made the same comment about staying in the present moment as we move into and out of a pose, that it is more like meditation than our western sense of exercise. I also find that yogo helps me to live in my body, aware of its senses, insights, and needs. Thanks Kathy for sharing. .