Sunday, August 17, 2014

On Beauty and Productivity

For a while now I have noticed that I am prone to waking up late, feeling a sense of loss of time, scrambling to make a to-do list and get moving fast.  My disposition becomes one of tyranny over the home and over the people in my home.  It's not pretty.

In July, I listened to Andrew Kern at a local homeschool convention. One of the big ideas he shared was that since the Industrial Revolution, we live in a "mechanistic age" that is based on military, industry, assembly line. It shows up in the way that we educate by treating children like machines and that we need to cram facts in the brain over the years to produce a worker.  This mindset is a mechanical/material way of viewing reality instead of a spiritual way of viewing reality.

We are not machines but Temples of the Living God.  

This should not only change the way that I educate, but also the way that I view myself and my day. What if we really believed that we and our children are living souls that need to be fed and nourished or cultivated or we will starve?  I mistakenly wake up and view the goal of my day as productivity...but to have that mindset reduces me to mere machine.  I was made for more...for beauty and truth and goodness.  And as I seek first His kingdom, all those other things will be added. In other words, I can't help but be productive and move rhythmically and well when my soul is feeding on higher and nobler ideas. My works becomes the fruit in my life not the guiding principle.

So my goal in the mornings right now is Beauty.  I have been meditating on Psalm 27:4:

One thing I ask from the Lord,
    this only do I seek:
that I may dwell in the house of the Lord
    all the days of my life,
to gaze on the beauty of the Lord
    and to seek him in his temple.

It is Beauty to seek Him, to gaze on Him, to ponder Him.
It is Beauty to make my bed and clothe myself simply yet pretty.
It is Beauty to set the table with morning food and flowers and intention.
It is Beauty to "spread the feast" of good books and art and music for my children.
It is Beauty to look in the eyes of my children with love and respect and presence.
It is Beauty to walk in nature and behold the sky, the woods, the sea, the creatures.

So many of the daily tasks that I would normally do fueled by anxiety and production continue to happen but instead may be fueled by the peace of Christ by pondering His beauty and viewing my daily world through that lens.  

My world is a home filled with living souls, not robots or machines who need to produce. May we receive the grace to perceive this Truth and live in the freedom of it day in and day out.


amy said...

I really love this Aimee. It's super inspiring to me right now as I am trying to get focused and reign in the summer chaos.

Julie said...

Great thoughts. Thanks for sharing -