Today, I was scheduled to read at Mass. No big deal, it's old hat by now for me. But somehow, in rushing around to get out the door (forgetting to bring my electronic leash), I ended up with some kind of unprovoked anxiety, complete with elevated heart rate and shallow breathing. I was having the worst time centering myself and clearing my mental clutter. I was pleasantly surprised to see our pastor Monsignor H celebrating Mass today, versus our usual, the associate pastor, Father L. Whoever schedules the priests really needs to consider a rotating schedule, and not hogging Msgr H to whatever Mass that person attends. We love Father L, but Msgr H has some awesome homilies that we don't get to hear as often. Seeing Msgr H in the vestibule, I stopped to greet him and share my delight in seeing him in vestments instead of just his collar. He always has a thought provoking question when we encounter each other. I love how his mind works to make me think about things I wouldn't normally.
Today, he asked "Do you think it's a fair question to ask what people's mindsets are walking into the doors of the church, and what they are as they leave?"
I said "Absolutely, it's a fair question. I know for myself I'm usually rushing to get here on time, and be early when I'm reading, and then sometimes fighting with traffic, and inconsiderate drivers en route. Today was not horrible trying to get out the door on time, but I was a bit rushed because I had to be early. I made great time driving here with no issues. But somehow, I ended up with a bad adrenaline rush that I've had the hardest time clearing away so I can be calm. So I imagine that others are fighting with distractions and diversions and struggling to clear their minds before Mass starts." He shared his thoughts, but wasn't able to finish them, as someone else needed to speak to him. Such is the life of a shepherd.
How awesome was that kind of Divine Intervention in hearing what I needed to hear, and articulating what was going on with me at that exact point in time. I somehow managed to get myself squared away so I could do my job. All the readings talked about living. Today's Gospel reading mentioned the word "life" 9 times. Then Msgr H's homily talked about the readings talking about life, and living it appropriately. He moved on to talk about the NASA Rover Curiosity, and how it will explore unknown places. He asked us to imagine a rover exploring our parish, and how it could be determined that the parish was alive. He asked us to imagine a rover exploring our hearts, and determining if we were living our lives appropriately.
I'm certainly guilty of letting the diversions get more of my attention than they deserve. Right now, I'm supposed to be matching up my coupons to the sales this week so I can restock the house with groceries. We're nearing "Mother Hubbard's Cupboards". But I had to get this out of my brain before I got too diverted and lost it, because I really felt like I needed to share it. I am prone to being easily distracted and my focus gets placed somewhere other than where it's most needed. I prefer to blame my ADD brain, which is only partially accurate. I still am responsible for what I do, and what I fail to do, regardless of how my brain is wired. Today's conversation with Msgr H gave me food for thought, and the homily drove home the point. With school starting, I really do need to make wiser use of my time, and allow fewer diversions to detour my day as much as I have allowed them to do up to this point. I could be so much more productive and have fewer "aw, crap" moments in my life.
How about you? What kind of diversions detour you from what you should be doing? What else can you accomplish if you set aside any number of diversions in your day?