“Busyness is the new status symbol,” an equally over-scheduled colleague reminded me. The late Fr. Henri Nouwen observed that along with the many other ways in which we let our up-to-dateness drive us away from the experience of deep contentment. That kind of inner peace comes only after being still, being really still, for a significant period of time.
“But Mary treasured all these words and pondered them in her heart.” Luke takes note of Mary’s treasured reflection while all around are exclaiming great joy.
The frenzy of the season is over-commented; frenzy adds to itself that way. More particular, more incarnational, for us all, whether Christian or some other faith, is this ability to find contentment in what now seems for so many of us the luxury of extended casual reflection. Text, tweet, emails, voicemail, instant and constant web connections feed into us throughout waking hours and as we sleep they accumulate for us to address first thing in the morning. A day without test, tweet, or email – a week, even. Imagine the frenzy in our heads not being able to attend to the frenzy in the world! Stir-crazy, that’s what we’d call it. We are so used to the pot being stirred that the soup in our brains never gets just to simmer.
For Mary, the frenzy around her son’s birth gives her pause to ponder. No audacious claims, no extravagant gestures. Just that deep simmering of the thought that the whole of divinity had been given to her and to us in such a frail lifeform as this child. For each and all, believer and doubter, may you receive this gift for deep, causal reflection on how your life also reflects the creative power of the All in all. And may contentment find you.
The Rev. Russell L. Meyer
The Nativity, 2011