1 – lacking remembrance, memory, or mindful attention
2 – lacking active conscious knowledge or awareness
In my daily conversations, I am often reminded that most of us are dangerously unaware of our thoughts and feelings. Although our post-modern lifestyles afford us a wealth of knowledge and personal activities, these often serve only as distractions instead of rich and meaningful experiences. Without purposeful intervention, we could stumble through life in an oblivious fog.
However, over the last month, many of us have found ourselves forced into a relaxed pace. Without warning, the uncomfortableness of fear and uncertainty have invaded our sense of control and security. Even the slowness of life during COVID-19 has become annoying and tiresome. We are both scared and sad… and certainly a little bored.
Without the noise of busyness and amusements, difficult feelings are impossible to ignore. As C.S. Lewis famously stated in The Problem of Pain,
“We can ignore even pleasure. But pain insists upon being attended to. God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pains: it is his megaphone to rouse a deaf world.”
If the volume of the world’s chatter has been lowered, wouldn’t it be in our best interests to curiously wonder at what God might have to say? Here is where my own curiosity takes a turn. I am sure that I do not know what message God has for you. I am not sure what radical or subtle changes He desires for your lives, what values should have greater emergence or what goals should be more passionately pursued. However, I am completely sure of His ultimate purpose. We are loved by God and His most passionate desire is to be with us and transform us into the beauty of His original creative intent. Once again, C.S. Lewis helps us with this gem from The Problem of Pain,
“We are, not metaphorically but in very truth, a Divine work of art, something that God is making, and therefore something with which He will not be satisfied until it has a certain character. Here again we come up against what I have called the “intolerable compliment.” Over a sketch made idly to amuse a child, an artist may not take much trouble: he may be content to let it go even though it is not exactly as he meant it to be. But over the great picture of his life—the work which he loves, though in a different fashion, as intensely as a man loves a woman or a mother a child—he will take endless trouble—and would doubtless, thereby give endless trouble to the picture if it were sentient. One can imagine a sentient picture, after being rubbed and scraped and re-commenced for the tenth time, wishing that it were only a thumb-nail sketch whose making was over in a minute. In the same way, it is natural for us to wish that God had designed for us a less glorious and less arduous destiny; but then we are wishing not for more love but for less.”
God is committed to our growth and maturity especially in the midst of pain and suffering. Wouldn’t it be in our best interest to slow down and pursue his voice with a humble posture of mindful awareness? Perhaps the feelings of COVID-19 can be useful after all…