Once during yoga class at the Y, I was struck by the oddity of our situation--inside our instructor serenely intoned "breathe, stretch..." and just outside our doors, the summer camp leader repeated in monotone to six year-olds "shoes by the door, shoes by the door, shoes by the door, stop...stop! Stop! Stop!" It was farcical--but something of a reflection of life, true to form. This can be how my brain operates depending on the day--within, I am calm, and from without, shouting and the noise of life compete for my attention. Or vice versa.
Sifting through this messy cacophony is priority one. I keep thinking I have to separate the two, but maybe it's best to have both that inner and outer world competing for my heart and soul. I was irked at the noise from the YMCA camp, ready to register a complaint, but had I followed through on this, I wouldn't have this lesson: let one inform the other. Let the noises and distractions of the world inform my choices within, my coming to peace, maybe even stretch out my soul to work at cultivating a space of silence. I want to reach God through this centering, see life for what it is, see what possibilities lay before me.
Surprisingly, I could work past the noise, could let it float just outside my mind as I meditated. It's difficult, but not impossible, I found.
Maybe the challenge of balancing the inner and outer self, the clamor of this world, our self-importance and the well-being of others, and anything that needs our attention on a daily basis creates the right atmosphere for forging a new bond with our spirits. Maybe it tempers us. What holds it together, though, in the midst of chaos? For me, interminable grace.