Jackson Browne sang:
I want to live in the world
not inside my head. . .
To open my eyes and wake up alive in the world
To open my eyes and fully arrive in the world.
I want to hear the blues singer on the street and to tap my feet to bluegrass in a crowded, drafty hall, not just to hear music on I-Tunes and XM radio. I want to let the creations of imaginative local artists, shown in galleries and studios all over town, enrich how I see the world. I want to know about the server’s children, the store owner’s mother, and the coffee barista’s latest book recommendation.
I want to hear the sounds swiftly moving water makes against rocks in a stream, to climb to the top of the mountain and see beyond my usual, limited horizon, and to yearn with barren tree branches, reaching toward the chilly sunlight, for greater warmth. And when those warm days come, I want to take joy in darting deer, fledgling ducks, and soaring hawks. I want to tremble a little when a snake crosses my path and to gasp in amazement when an eagle takes flight.
I want to know people beyond the images we so carefully present to each other, to experience mutual support for our hopes and dreams, and to share in the gentling of one another’s fears. I want us to find purpose for our strengths and healing for our brokenness.
I want to embrace the world as it is and to pray and work for what the world can be. I want to be “alive in the world”—alert, awake, and open to wonder.