In Chapter 6 (“The Noonday Demon: Our Distractible Selves”) of The Attentive Life, author Leighton Ford describes Sext, high noon in the course of hours. David Steindl-Rast explains that Sext is “the hour of fervor and commitment, but it is also the hour of temptation to laziness and despair: the hour of the noonday devil as well as of intensity.” This can be the time when life weighs us down.
When life weighs us down, we are easily distracted. Yet, as Mr. Ford points out, distraction can be a blessing when God’s divine interruptions call us to turn in new directions. In this context, our ability to be actively attentive to distractions and learn from them is a strength, not a weakness. Transforming discoveries can result from such divine interruptions. Our lives can take on a “breathtaking new meaning”, just as Jesus’ appearance to the fanatical Saul in a blinding light transformed him to Paul, apostle to the nations.
Leighton Ford concludes this section with a beautiful poem about Mary, the mother of Jesus. In the poem he asks what would have happened if Mary had been so troubled by the angel’s “pregnant words” that she’d said “no”, or if Joseph had been so concerned about protecting Mary’s ( and his own) reputation that he’d broken the engagement. Mr. Ford ends the poem with these thought-provoking words:
“Would not the Child still have been born for the world?
But what would have been still-born in them?”
Today’s question: How has Jesus divinely interrupted your life in your transition period following your job loss? Please share.
Tomorrow’s blog: “Spiritual Attention Deficit Disorder”