Back around 2004 or so I was a student at the University of Ottawa studying history and philosophy and english (a whole lot of job prospects in those disciplines, I know:). My modus was largely what it had always been, do the least amount of work for the best grade I could get without trying too hard. I used to sit in class and play solitaire on my laptop (it was so cool and exciting back then to have a laptop, not every student even had one!). Sometimes, I must admit, I posed questions that had literally just been spoken to because my divided attention could catch up to me, but mostly it went well enough and plodded along eventually earning a Cum Laude degree, not that I know what that means (never took latin because, well, it seemed hard). To be honest, I tried pretty hard for the second half of that degree for a variety of reasons there is no point in getting into now.

When I look back on it now I think two thoughts: what a waste! And also, how wise of me to prioritize. 

It was a waste because I could have learned so much more, I could have enjoyed the process along the way. It was a waste because I was given a privilege and didn’t take full advantage of it. At the time I didn’t even realize (I know this sounds horrible) that university was such a privilege, I just thought it was what you were supposed to do, and so I approached it as one more thing I had to do, one more hoop to jump on the way to adulthood. 

Sometimes I feel like I might be sliding into that mode regarding life itself. Instead of enjoying a moment, noticing the privileges in my day and giving thanks to God, I can find it drudgery. Special moments I will miss and look back on fondly are sometimes in the moment just so boring and banal. But it is a privilege to go to work and have a job that is meaningful and adds value to the lives of others, it is a privilege to stand at the bottom of the hill coaching kids how to turn sharply on their bikes, it is a privilege to live in peace with my neighbours and just hang around chatting. God has provided me with so many blessings, I hope and pray that I will not miss them the way I missed lectures I was physically present for but mentally in another universe. 

At the same time I do think there is a nugget of wisdom in what I was trying to do. I was trying to prioritize my life by putting energy were I thought it needed to go (graduating engaged to the love of my life, debt-free, having volunteered a bunch, met the Queen of England, acceptance letter to as Masters program in hand). I happen to have been wrong in that assessment of what was worthy of attention, Grand Turismo did not need playing! Still today the ability to decide what is worthy of attention and what is not and then prioritizing the giving of attention is a talent to be cultivated. To organize my time so that I can coach cycling and soccer, to have margin so that when I am out loading the van I can chat calmly with the Joneses, is the result of the same mentality. 

When it comes to living the good life I have become more and more committed to meditation, prayer, bible reading, journalling, and the like because they bring me closer to Jesus. Letting go of certain things (like being at every meeting, or always saying “yes”) permits me to place my focus and attention where I think it needs to be, be it God, my marriage, my children, my community, or my church. 

I suppose what I am getting at is that there is a prayer that you might want to try out, and a song you might want to sing (or at least listen to) if you are like me. That is to say, if you want to pay more attention to the Divine and the Holy, get closer to Jesus, walk the spiritual Way then you might benefit from this. It is actually a sort of prayer the apostle Paul prayed for his people, Ephesians 1:18- I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people. It is my prayer for myself and for you, that we would see his glory and live in hope. 

Paul Baloche‘s Open the eyes of my heart:

Open the eyes of my heart, Lord

Open the eyes of my heart

I want to see You

I want to see You

Open the eyes of my heart, Lord

Open the eyes of my heart

I want to see You

I want to see You

To see You high and lifted up

Shinin’ in the light of Your glory

Pour out Your power and love

As we sing holy, holy, holy

Open the eyes of my heart, Lord

Open the eyes of my heart

I want to see You

I want to see You

Open the eyes of my heart, Lord

Open the eyes of my heart

I want to see You

I want to see You

To see You high and lifted up

Shinin’ in the light of Your glory

Pour out Your power and love

As we sing holy, holy, holy

To see You high and lifted up

Shinin’ in the light of Your glory

Pour out Your power and love

As we sing holy, holy, holy

To see You high and lifted up

Shinin’ in the light of Your glory

Pour out Your power and love

As we sing holy, holy, holy

Holy, holy, holy

We cry holy, holy, holy

You are holy, holy, holy

I want to see you

Holy, holy, holy

Holy, holy, holy

You are holy, holy, holy

I want to see you

Holy, holy, holy

Holy, holy, holy

Holy, holy, holy,

I want to see you

Holy, holy, holy

Holy, holy, holy

Holy, holy, holy,

I want to see you

Holy, holy, holy

Holy, holy, holy

Holy, holy, holy,

I want to see you

Holy, holy, holy

Holy, holy, holy

Holy, holy, holy,

I want to see you

Holy, holy, holy

Holy, holy, holy

Holy, holy, holy,

I want to see you

Holy, holy, holy

Holy, holy, holy

Holy, holy, holy,

I want to see you

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