Seeking awe in the ordinary

A dreary rainy day here in Ireland, after weeks of sunshine. The temptation is to keep ones head down, moving quickly from place to place. However,  positive emotions are linked to paying attention and appreciating whatever is around us –  grey or bright – noticing the small details in every moment.

God and the sacred, the enchanted and the luminous, are not “over there” somewhere. They are all right here, where we are.  May we get back to the ordinary, the breath by breath, and the living in each moment fully. Inhabiting each moment and seeking the wonder therein. The refusal to let life descend down to a cycle of the mundane, the insistence of seeking awe in the ordinary  –  this is the beginning of spiritual life.

This is the wisdom of Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel, among so many others, who said “Indifference to the sublime wonder of living is the root of sin”

Sin, for Heschel, is ultimately not about eating this or not eating that, praying in this temple or that temple, but a losing of that sublime wonder of being truly alive. That is the ultimate sin, the only sin. Yes, there are religious commandments to observe. But the goal of religion remains to cultivate that sense of wonder, awe, and radical amazement.

Omid Safi, The Spirituality of the Ordinary Is Luminous

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