The choices are endless. Input of imaginative material is ever-streaming: books, songs, films, adverts, emails, voicemails, snailmail… There are the daily tasks of work and family, hobby and friend, thought and action. The mental life that Dallas Willard asserts is our life of both spirit and body is ever-present, ever-flowing, ever-full.
I said yesterday that I want 2010 to be a year of going deep. I think of a diver slipping over the side of a boat in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. He may go deep, but in the straight line that it down, down, down, there is so much to miss. Why not simply stay close to the shore, snorkeling around the edges, or swimming along the surface for miles, as in the great feat of swimming the English Channel?
Our culture is like that ocean. We slip from the boat and plunge, and the sheer density of the “imaginative matter” in which we find ourselves is overwhelming. We don’t think about it that way much, of course…we just gobble up the next interesting thing. The visual/aural world is expert in catching our attention. Lights flash and our eyes move, desire is born, and money comes flipping out of the pocket, and we own yet another little piece of something that will land in the lawn the day after we’re dead. But still, it’s exciting for the moment, and we tell ourselves our lives are enriched by the small experience of the light flashing. But then, the light dulls, and we need another flash, a different flash, or a new sound, or a new look, or a new thought, or a new something. Is this a bad thing? Maybe not. When do we not need new inspiration, new courage, new hope, and new insight and initiative? And if a little flash of light will give us that for a couple of bucks…who’s to say whether the investment was worth it?
But now that I’m in the water, do I drop lower, or grab more at the surface? Go deeper with few points of focus is the plan, but then there’s the racking decision of what will make up the “few points of focus.” Therein lies the rub. To simply choose. Nothing new here. I’ve come to a few thoughts.
Write 500 words a day. Post 200 times on the blog. See through the lens of a camera. Friendship, passion, creativity the major subjects under scrutiny. Two major writing projects only. Get them both out the door. Sabbath with conviction. Pay attention. Be still, and know that He is God.
Yesterday, a few of you pitched in on the idea of how to go deep.
Now, what is your practice of “focus?”
Happy New Year…