I have tremendous respect for content creators who craft daily thoughts that somehow turn into words on a page (or more likely, a screen) that speak to people in diverse and meaningful ways. As for me….I only sidle up to this world of daily blogging once a year, during these 40 days of Lent, and the most faithful and attainable way I have found to find things to share each day, is to ask the simple questions, “Where have I seen God today?”, “What does it mean to me?” and “How do I best communicate it?”
If you’re just about anywhere in California today, you’re probably carrying an umbrella and wondering where you left your galoshes, because it’s a rainin’! And I LOVE the rain…I truly do. I’m a water person and bodies of water in any form….lakes, rivers, oceans, streams, even big plump raindrops…all seem to speak something deep and soothing to my soul.
This evening, as I was driving home from work, the rain was really pounding. Not in the I-have-to-pull-over-because-I-can’t-see-the-road kind of way, but in the I’d-better-pay-really-close-attention-and-stay-alert kind of way. As I merged onto the freeway and picked up speed, my sporty, red KIA was repeatedly engulfed (or maybe just splashed really hard) by vehicles much bigger than mine going much, much faster than I was. I actually love to drive in the rain, and I wasn’t afraid, really, just annoyed at the inconsideration of other drivers who apparently weren’t aware that other cars may possibly be swept away in their wake!
So, rather than become that “Oh yeh….I can do it too….and better!” person, I noticed there was a car ahead of me in the right lane that was going about my speed, and instead of fighting against the whole mess, I chose to just settle a few car lengths behind my new road buddy and just….slow it down. And you know what happened? Not only did I feel relieved to be out of the fray of splashing waves, but I almost instantly felt calmer, too. And I realized how tense and distracted by others I had become quicker than I care to admit.
“Co-regulation” is a term commonly used in psychotherapy to describe the transference that occurs when two people of differing emotional states share a connection. It involves the Central Nervous System in ways that only God could dream up for us, but in the very simplest of terms, co-regulation occurs when one person “shares their calm” with another individual who is not so calm. I have no idea what my right lane friend was actually feeling, but just sharing the road in tandem for those ten miles or so did serve to make me feel better (and maybe even them too!)
Life is so fast, ya’ll….and I don’t think many of us are good at slowing down voluntarily. I can think of many, many examples of ways we over-think, over-plan, over-extend and over-commit, but I don’t think I really need to….you’re likely already feeling it.
One of the things I have come to cherish so about observing these 40 days of Lent is the daily, intentional, radical…..slowing down. We don’t have to….there are no rules and no one is going to get booted from the Holy Society of Lenters. But if we don’t slow it down….if we just keep the same pace of life and try to squeeze in a few seconds a day for lightening reflections, we just miss so much. We miss the chance for true connection with each other and with the one who loves us madly and has so much to teach us if we’ll just release some of our time, unclench our hands and open our hearts.
“Where did I see God today?“
In a muddy-brown sedan driving west on highway 198.
“What does it mean to me?“
I have a hundred little choices each day in how I approach everything. It’s up to me how I reach out to God and to others who may need me as much as I need them. We need the peace, the hope and the authentic love of God. And more often than we even realize, that is found in the presence of one another.
“How do I best communicate it?
In truly the only way I know how….by being open and honest about my own need to dive deeper and climb higher into the love of God until everything feels right again.
So, here on Day 3 – how about we consider slowing it down some and experience all God has for us through this season? I don’t want to miss a thing, and since you’re still here, I have a feeling you don’t either. =)