“We have to accept that the human culture is in a mass hypnotic trance. We’re sleepwalkers…That’s why the Buddha and Jesus say with one voice, “Be awake”. — Richard Rohr
I love the Polar Express! Every Christmas as I read that book (yes – I still read it even though my kids are grown) I cry when I get to the last pages about how the bell has stopped ringing for so many. I always swear I won’t let that to happen to me.
At the end of the movie version, the Conductor looks at the little boy and says, “One thing about trains. It doesn’t matter where they’re going – what matters is deciding to get on.”
Living with “awe” is like that. It’s deciding to get on the damn train rather than standing at the station!
And then once you’re on the train it’s about paying attention to the scenery and not just the destination. It’s living more intentionally, more fully, with more awareness.
You’ve probably heard people talk about being more present and living in the moment. That’s living with “awe”.
It’s stopping the rat race, getting off the treadmill, slowing down.
It’s recognizing that God doesn’t care so much about what we do but rather who we are. How do we show up in the world?
How do you show up in the world?
I’ll give you an example. We have two postal carriers on our block – our regular guy and the guy who fills in for him every so often. And they show up completely differently!
Our regular guy walks very slowly, with his head down the entire time, staring at the envelopes in his hand, avoiding eye contact at all costs. My kids tell the story of the time they were out playing. One of them fell off his bike and was lying on the sidewalk wailing. The postal carrier just kept walking -right around him – never acknowledging his presence.
The fill in guy shows up completely differently. He’s looking up, smiling, happy to start a conversation with you. He evens stops to shoot hoops with the kids in the driveway. I once told him that my son would always remember him as his favorite mailman. That’s living with “awe”!
We rarely look up!
Why is that?
Why are we so busy?
When did we become so important that the world can’t function without our harried existence?
We rarely look up!
I don’t think we have to wait until we die to experience heaven. I believe we can experience heaven – the kingdom of God – here and now. When you open your eyes and begin living with “awe”, you realize that it’s been here all along.
Mark Nepo says, “Rather than finding heaven on earth we are asked to release heaven by living on earth.”