Children, Chaos, and Contemplation

Today’s post is by Bryan Berghoef

There is never a dull moment at our house. My wife and I have four children—amid the flurry of homework assignments, birthday parties, sibling spats, and dinnertime squabbles—there’s a lot of constant noise and movement.

One of the delightful things about having young children is their unbridled enthusiasm and overwhelming energy. They are fully present, without a sense that there is anything else to be. They are fully in the moment. This is a gift of being a child, not being weighed down by thoughts of the future, or by a sense of responsibility, or worry. They are right here, right now.

The downside is that everything is so important, and when something doesn’t go their way, right now, it’s reason for complaining, crying, sometimes even—panic. Spilling milk really is something to cry over. A favorite toy breaking feels like the apocalypse. Even as I write this there is fighting in the sandbox. (Don’t worry – we have plenty of moments of calm and laughter as well in our household!)

I long as a parent to be able to maintain an inner calm amid all this outer chaos and confusion. I find that I very seldom am able to cultivate that on the spot. It is something I need to consciously develop in other moments, so that when the chaos comes, I have a reserve of calm from which to draw. It might be a daily time of prayer and silence, a quiet walk outside, Scripture reading, or some other practice.

You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one.
I hope someday you’ll join us. And the world will live as one.

~John Lennon

Categories: Contemplative Living and Non-duality. Tags: John Lennon and peace. Formats: Monday Moment and Quote. Interest Areas: Monday Moments.
Categories: Prayer and Self Compassion. Tags: peace. Formats: Monday Moment and Quote. Interest Areas: Monday Moments.

Did I offer peace today?

~Henri Nouwen

Categories: Contemplative Living, Prayer, and Self Compassion. Tags: Henri Nouwen and peace. Formats: Monday Moment and Quote. Interest Areas: Monday Moments.

Nothing in all creation is so like God
as stillness.

~Meister Eckhart

May today there be peace within.

~Teresa of Ávila

 

All that is necessary is
to have a soul united within itself.

~Martin Buber

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