Living with purpose #1: In the Line of Duty

One of the perks of this time of lockdown for my wife and myself has been an opportunity to catch up on BBC’s Line of Duty. When I say “catch up”, what I really mean is to start watching it!! I couldn’t believe it first aired in 2012!!! So after our busy day of working from home, homeschooling, a walk in the park, meals and then bedtime with the kids, it has become our treat at night.

Last night, we were in the middle of an edge of the seat moment in one of the episodes. It was going to be a “reveal all” moment, a moment when we would have some of our questions answered. The tension was high and just as it was about to all kick-off, the sound of our Niamh’s cry came from the baby monitor.

I couldn’t believe it. I duly (no pun intended) went upstairs. I picked her up and she smiled at me – my heart sank, I instantly knew that she wasn’t going back to sleep anytime soon. So I began to gently rock her, sing to her and tried to plot how I could get her back to sleep as fast as I could. About 10 minutes later, her eyes began to close. Yes!!! I couldn’t put her in the cot just yet…it might be too soon; she could wake up! I decided I would sit on the bed with her but then I thought to myself..no, she might wake up. No, keep doing what I am doing!!! I was feeling disappointed – if she doesn’t go down soon, we won’t get to see the rest of the episode. After about 5 minutes she seemed in a deep sleep. Right, here we go!! I gently put her down in the cot, slowly moved away and was just about to reach over to switch the monitor back on when she opened her eyes widely and gave a big grin. Nooooooooooo!

I am sure I am not the only one to have done what I have outlined above but I want to draw your attention to the quote in the picture above. The interruption is the presence of God. How would this have applied to me last night?

Jesus was always being interrupted. Whenever he was touring the towns and villages, people would interrupt him to ask questions, to seek healing or to catch him out with some trick question. And every time – every time – he would stop, listen and engage in conversation with the person. A great example of this was when he was on the way to see a father’s dying daughter, a woman broke through the crowd that was thronging around him and touched his cloak, believing she would be healed. He stopped dead and asked who had touched his cloak and had a short conversation with the woman who had identified herself. You can just imagine the father of the child hopping from foot to foot with anxiety! (Mark 5:21-43)

To live purposefully is live each moment fully. And each day, God is inviting us to live fully in the moment. Not in the past or the future but in the present. Our faith tells us that God is in all things and in every moment, calling us to be the best version of ourselves. Take last night for example. Line of Duty could have waited….we are in lockdown for goodness sake!! And there could be weeks of lockdown yet to come! But I could not simply enjoy being with my daughter; I was too distracted to watch her peacefully sleep. I could not smile back at her smile; I just wanted to get down and watch the rest of the episode. My heart sank instead of my heart being lifted.

I think this also applies to our present situation. This extra time with our families is giving us an opportunity to spend more time with each other, to play together and converse in ways we may not have done for a long time. Instead, we can be easily distracted by checking our phones every 2 minutes, binging on Netflix for most of the day, wondering how long this time of uncertainty will last, wishing we were back in work when three weeks ago we were wishing we didn’t have to go into work. And so on.

This period of lockdown can be seen as a big interruption to our lives. And it is exactly that – an interruption to how we regularly live and work. But maybe God is calling us to live each day with greater purpose, to know what it is to live every moment fully – because when we do, our lives will become so much richer.

I didn’t get to see the rest of the episode by the way…but what a treat for tonight!!!

In tomorrow’s blog, I will look at the benefits of meditation in helping us live each day with purpose.

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