To pause might be rare for many of us. Here at the MBCE, we normally have a lot going on. A streak of a few groups during a week is normal, and there is always something to do. Although I knew volunteering would be a lot of work, I never worried about having time to myself. While some of the most fun moments have been spend with our property community and groups, I have also benefited from quiet times where I can pray and be with God.
Interestingly, my mediation on a moment to pause comes at a time when I find myself saying the phrase "#Blessed" out loud a lot. Normally when someone tells me something I find really amazing or something good happens, I will say "Blessed!" to them. If it is a message, I will normally use the hashtag symbol before it. A little 21st century humor to accompany the sentiment.
There is definitely something to that hashtag symbol. It has everything to do with the notion of pausing. A hashtag is a short phrase or word used on the Internet (normally Twitter) that allows you to search what people are saying about that particular phrase. So a hashtag of the word "Blessed" will show you all of the people using that word. A hashtag is something quick...
As I said that word in a flash a few times this past month, my thoughts were geared towards a practice I began once I moved to Esopus. During a walk through the retreat house, a task out in the Courtyard, or any brief moment during the day, I try to say short prayers or have a quick conversation with God. Sometimes I will consider something that I believe is a blessing, a meditation for 30 seconds. That is what #Blessed is all about! A quick consideration, an encounter with God, an experience that is much deeper than you imagine it to be in that short span.
The students and guests that pass through our doors, the smiles and greetings they bring, and the work that goes on here contributes greatly to my development as a volunteer, a Christian, and a Marist. Marcellin Champagnat often practiced recognition of the presence of God in his daily life. Jesus is so present that he asks the blind man (Mark 10) "What do you want me to do?", and I think that the question is extended to us as well with many variations. These moments are a time to chat with Christ and let Him know what that might be. A time to say "Thanks".
Whatever your routine or schedule is, take advantage of a few seconds to center your thoughts and your heart on whatever blessings are present in your life. Those quick moments are refreshment for the mind and soul. It is not just some quick pick me up. It is a true practice of prayer, and a worthwhile way to spend the time that we don't realize we lose. A walk to the car in the parking lot, food shopping, or cleaning the house. All that time that we are normally silent or maybe just preoccupied with what we are about in that moment. Use that time! Be blessed my friends...