pray without ceasing,
give thanks in all circumstances.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18a
You’ve seen the description of the online videos: “Wait for it…” It’s that social-media trick to get you to watch a video all the way to the end. The promise is that despite the slow build, something big is going to happen.
So let me give you a word of warning for this “Wait for It” video: nothing happens.
But pay attention anyway if you’d like. Sure, the quality isn’t great. It’s the full moon just before dawn on Dauphin Island. There are a few birds. And if you turn up the volume, you might even hear the waves. I think a fish splashes the surface of the water at one point. But really, nothing spectacular happens. Wait for it…
Simply paying attention to the world is probably the most significant prayer of thanksgiving a person can offer. Simply paying attention to how any particular moment touches all the senses is perhaps the most basic and sincere form of communion with the Divine. Wait for it.
Think about how you might pay attention to the natural world as a connection with the Sacred. And if the natural world isn’t conveniently located right in front of you today, pay attention to the human community all around you–to the people in your life, to the daily coming and going of human activity, to the small moments of beauty and grace, to the little signs of kindness and love, to whatever delight and goodness you might discover in the ordinary ecology of life.
Of course, sometimes you have to use extraordinary patience and exceptional perception to sense it, and sometimes you have to create it yourself, but holiness infuses the world. Wait for it.
Paying attention is a act of gratitude and contemplation. Paying attention, it seems to me, is also an act of love.
In any circumstance and situation, wait for it.