Reading a contract is often boring, mindless, and potentially frustrating. Each paragraph details something that one thinks is obvious and does not need to be included or is so confusing that one has no idea what the words are saying. I recall my early days when I assumed that I should be able to understand everything. Today I know I do not know. As I age, the frustration of reading a contract has drifted into a slight annoyance. I know it is important. I just wish that I did not need to do what I need to do.
Life’s fine print has many characteristics that are consistent with a contract. Paying attention is not always easy. It is dangerous to assume that something does not matter until you have paid given it enough attention. Our minds wander, usually biting us in ways we do not expect because we have ignored the obvious. In an age of simulation, changing images, and noise, life details can be mundane, even frustrating.
There is a stark warning of what can happen if we are not able to move beyond our initial reaction. Put in traditional Christian terms, “If you give no thought (or worse, don’t care) about the broken body of the Master when you eat and drink, you’re running the risk of serious consequences.” (1 Corinthians 11.29) Said another way, if you are careless with the details today there may be hell to pay.
Wisdom invites us to a different way of seeing what is around us. The mantras I keep hearing are echoed in the following.
It is in the present that Life exists. Life never stays in the past or runs ahead to the future.
Beauty can be found in every circumstance. Circumstance can cloud one’s view, yet the freedom to make a difference always remains.
It is in the small things – chewing your food, drinking a glass of water to quench your thirst, and even in rest – that we experience life.
Life, beauty, and wonder are found in the details of living in the moment.