Search
  • Restorative Readings: The Old Testament, Ethics, and Human Dignity
    Restorative Readings: The Old Testament, Ethics, and Human Dignity
    Pickwick Publications

    Foreword by Walter Brueggemann, my chapter is entitled 'In conversation: The Old Testament, Ethics and Human Dignity'. A superb resource edited by Julie Claassens and Bruce Birch

  • What are we thinking? Reflections on Church and Society from Southern African Methodists.
    What are we thinking? Reflections on Church and Society from Southern African Methodists.
    by Dion A Forster, Wessel Bentley
  • Methodism in Southern Africa: A celebration of Wesleyan Mission
    Methodism in Southern Africa: A celebration of Wesleyan Mission
    by Dion A Forster, Wessel Bentley
  • Christ at the centre - Discovering the Cosmic Christ in the spirituality of Bede Griffiths
    Christ at the centre - Discovering the Cosmic Christ in the spirituality of Bede Griffiths
    by Dion A Forster
  • An uncommon spiritual path - the quest to find Jesus beyond conventional Christianity
    An uncommon spiritual path - the quest to find Jesus beyond conventional Christianity
    by Dion A Forster
Transform your work life: Turn your ordinary day into an extraordinary calling. by Dion Forster and Graham Power.
Download a few chapters of the book here.
Pages
Social networking
« The ministry of a chaplain in the contemporary missional Church | Main | Has your 3G iPad stopped working on Vodacom (firmware iOS 4.2.1)? »
Thursday
Feb032011

Dailyness - learning to live without need for constant excitement

My 4 year old son is a source of immeasurable blessing and joy!

This morning I had to be at work just before 6am so I didn't get to see him. So, just before Megie took him to school I phoned him - the first thing he said when he got on the line was 'daddy, when you get home tonight I want to ride my bicycle'!

Liam loves riding his bike with me! In part I think it is the excitement of gaining a new skill (he has only just learnt how to ride his bike), and in part it is the joy of the two of us spending time together.

However, I remember when my daughter was that way - she too loved to ride her bike! We spent countless hours riding up and down the street. Now that she is 11 years old riding her bike up and down the road with her dad is not quite as exciting as it once was! She prefers to leave that activity to her brother.

Life can be like that! The things that excite us today tend to loose their 'shine' with time. We become accustomed to them, we master them, they loose their initial challenge and attraction, and eventually they become part of our routine; they become mundane.

Every aspect of life is prone to this propensity towards becoming mundane or familiar.

From a neuroscientific point of view I know that in part this has to do with the body's attempt to become (and remain) as efficient as possible. It takes energy to generate excitement, to learn new things, and to be stimulated. The brain literally requires more energy to fire the synaptic junctions and activate the dopamine system that makes one interested in something (or someone), thus making you alert to the many new aspects and possibilities of such an encounter.

Relationships move form passionate lust to stable love. Shiny cars soon pale in comparison to newer, faster, models.... The list of 'exciting to ordinary' examples could go on and on!

In spiritual circles we call this tendency 'dailyness'.

A healthy spirituality is one that moves from the immaturity of seeking pleasure through excitement and exotic experiences, to one that allows you to enjoy and be blessed by everyday life.

Such a spirituality celebrates 'dailyness', it seeks out and finds the blessing and joy of the 'ordinary' aspects of one's life by training the senses to be alert to them; encouraging the mind to see simple things in the light of wonder, grace, and gratitude.

Hedonism is the enemy of a 'spirituality of dailyness'. It constantly seeks pleasure and gratification. In the West we have become obsessed with the pursuit of comfort and pleasure. So much so that many of our laws and economic systems are based on an ethical / moral philosophy called 'altruistic hedonism'. What that means is that we want to seek the maximum pleasure for the most number people. The point is that we have become a pleasure directed society.

When you first consider this you may ask 'So, what is wrong with wanting to make as many people as possible happy all the time?' Well, one obvious problem is that it is not sustainable! If we cannot learn to appreciate what we do have we will constantly seek more, and better, things. This consumerist attitude is behind many economic forces in western society. We will never be satisfied because 'happiness' will always be over the next hill or around the next corner. There will always be a desire for a bigger budget, a larger house, a faster car...

In the end we chase after those things that cannot bring fulfillment, and in the process we destroy others and the environment. In the process more and more of the earth's resources are consumed for unnecessary pleasures. Why should you have a car that can go at 200km/h when one that can do 100km/h is all that is required? I think you get the idea?!

So, for the last few days I have been consciously attempting to focus on 'blessed dailyness'. I am deliberately trying to find joy in, and celebrate, what I already have. I am making it a discipline to give thanks for what I have and to fight the urge to want what others have.

It has been a remarkable experience. I am realizing anew just how fortunate and blessed I am!

Have you every applied a similar discipline, or spirituality, to 'blessed dailyness' in your life? Have you got any experiences you would be willing to share? I'd love to hear from you! God bless, Just Dion (living each day to become more truly 'Dion the just')

References (6)

References allow you to track sources for this article, as well as articles that were written in response to this article.
  • Response
    Football is seriously one of the most significant sports in America. It has a significant following.
  • Response
    Wonderful Webpage, Preserve the great job. Thanks a ton.
  • Response
    Superb Website, Maintain the beneficial job. Many thanks.
  • Response
    Response: Hay Day Cheats
    Dailyness - learning to live without need for constant excitement - BLOG - Dion Forster - An uncommon path
  • Response
    Response: Hay Day Cheats
    Dailyness - learning to live without need for constant excitement - BLOG - Dion Forster - An uncommon path
  • Response
    Dailyness - learning to live without need for constant excitement - BLOG - Dion Forster - An uncommon path

Reader Comments (2)

Thanks for this Dion.

I think the same problem you mention exists in the way we approach worship. Driven by the excitement that is provided by rock concerts, theatre and movies, we tend to think of the church service in much the same way, and so we come to church expecting an "experience" that "fills" and "inspires" us so that we are "filed with power" for the week ahead. In this sense we are just continuing our society's quest for pleasure and happiness, but doing it in church.

On the other hand, I like to think of worship as building a "history" of deepening intimacy with God. We don't come to church to get our weekly "fix". Rather, we come just to show up and be faithful to the discipline of worship that, if done mindfully, transforms us into Christ-likeness. It's not about the experience. It's about what you call "encouraging the mind to see simple things in the light of wonder, grace, and gratitude."

Thanks again for your thoughts. And I'm still waiting for that coffee! ;-)

February 3, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJohn van de Laar

This the best place to get free grepolis cheats at zero penny.

February 1, 2015 | Unregistered Commentergrepolis gold generator

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Post:
 
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>