Dennis Proffitt and Drake Baer have recently released a new work entitled, Perception: How Our Bodies Shape Our Minds. Their research and findings reveal that what we perceive in any given moment is not only determined by sensory input, but by our personal physical abilities, energy levels, feelings, social identities, and more. Our physical bodies and our ability to move influence how we view our surroundings. For example, researchers have found that if you are tired then distances look farther to you. People wearing heavy backpacks see steeper hills in front of them than hikers without backpacks. It also works in a positive way. If you are holding something that extends your reach – like a grabber – then things appear closer to you. In sports, successful baseball batters literally see bigger balls coming at them from the pitcher. Proffitt and Baer write, “Put another way: Our walking ability shapes the apparent walkability of the hill, which determines how we see it. You do not see the hill as it is but rather as it is seen by you.”
As disciples, we are known in scripture as a people “on the way”. Followers of Jesus literally find their purpose and calling in walking the path of faith, moving through our communities, and serving our neighbors. As I thought about Perception, I was reminded of the importance of sabbath keeping. Certainly, we are meant to be about the work of the Kingdom, expending an energy filled with love and light. Truly we are a people meant to shine. But our work is only as good as our rest. Sabbath is meant to restore and connect us to the love and care of God. Without sabbath, the journey only becomes more difficult with each step. As you think about the week ahead, what do you see? Perhaps the tasks and the work will become far less overwhelming and daunting if we will but take the time to enter into God’s holy pause.
Associate Minister of Faith Formation
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