On average, humans blink anywhere between 3-15 times a minute while awake, depending on the type of activity they are doing. That means that in a given day, most individuals blink somewhere between 2,880-14,400 times on average. Since college students tend to sleep less, this number would be higher.
It is strange to think that we engage in an activity so often and don’t even consider it. I myself have gone weeks, or even months, without thinking about my blinking patterns. Allergy season does bring with it an acute awareness of the relief that blinking provides, but more often than not I am unaware. It is an activity that is engrained in my daily life. It is one of the hundreds of ordinary, mundane things I do merely as a way of maintaining physical and emotional wellbeing. These activities are not compartmentalized. They do not require pause from the other activities that happen simultaneously. I have blinked unconsciously numerous times while writing this, just as you have while reading it. These ordinary activities weave themselves throughout our waking hours. They are part of the normal rhythms of our day that are so natural, we do not even think about them.
More and more this is how I want my relationship with Jesus to be marked. I want my own spiritual formation to be connected to the ordinary things of my day. Arguably, church history has played a significant role in the division of the ordinary and the spiritual…between the secular and the sacred. In spite of this, I find myself longing for the veil of these two realities to be lifted. For me to connect with God like blinking…without effort….not compartmentalized….continually.
Practically speaking I found the easiest way for me to do this is to create a system in which daily activities become catalyst for me. For instance, I have a dear friend who loves shopping at Target. I determined several years ago that whenever I saw the red store logo, I would pray for her. This means that in a given day (on my commute, during commercials, while reading the paper, when I get my mail) I have interceded on behalf of my friend 5-10 times on average. They aren’t elaborate prayers. I don’t stop driving, or walking, or reading. These prayers are like blinking. What would happen if every time we buckled our seat beats we breathed: Lord Jesus Christ have mercy on me? What if the 3-4 minutes of brushing our teeth became a time of psalmist meditation? What if, instead of compartmentalizing our formation to an added activity, we simply lifted the veil of our ordinary day of mundane and allowed the sacred and the secular to connect.
I long for this type of communion. Where I reminded that God’s presence, not my categorization, make things sacred. Where the Spirit of God is woven throughout my day and is connected to all things. It is only then when we find God’s interactions with us, like blinking, are happening simultaneously with our daily lives.