Negating the Superhuman: Drinking in the Present Moment

Rainy brick-lined street.

Over the last several days, the superhuman tendency has shown up for me again. And as I’ve watched it lurking around, controlling what I do and how I do it, I’ve noticed some more things about it.

I’ve noticed that the superhuman tendency makes me impervious to real feelings and experiences. I’m never fully present to what’s happening around me when I’m in this mode. Instead, my mind is always whirring on the next Big Thing. People and experiences become transactional. Sometimes they feel like distractions from what I need to get done.

When in superhuman mode, I’m also quite resistant to slowing down. I get out of touch with God. I’m unable to sit still. 

The last several days, that has manifested itself in a dearth of quiet stillness before God, which is unusual for me. I’ve noticed a bit of going-through-the-motions while doing things I normally enjoy, or an avoidance of those things altogether.

Finding my true, still center has taken a lot of effort the last few days. I haven’t always been successful at finding it, either.

But a few moments ago, I listened to a contemplative podcast that combined sacred music and reflective questions to invite me deeper into stillness and presence in the right-now moment. The speaker observed that the world around us is full of people, sights, sounds, and experiences.

Could I let myself see and hear and experience them? 

For some reason, upon that invitation, an image of a wine cork presented itself in my mind. I could see its texture and even imagine what its little grooves would feel like in my hand. I could almost hear the popping noise that the cork would make when it uncorked from the bottle. I could hear the glug-glug-glug of the wine as it was poured into a glass. I could imagine the taste, too — the wine was a delicious red cabernet (my favorite). 

When I’m caught up in superhuman mode, I don’t notice those sounds or relish those tastes. Everything becomes a blur and seems to get in the way of what I must do next. Every encounter, every task, and even every conversation becomes a bit more functional than I’d like.

I don’t want to live that way.

I want to drink up the moments right in front of me. I want to live life and experience people. I want to experience my food when I’m eating it. I want to live deeply into each conversation and encounter. I want to enjoy the tiny enjoyments of life, like the way the rain creates a sheen on my brick-lined street and makes the weeds pushing up through the cracks a really sharp and vibrant green. 

These moments of full enjoyment make us vulnerable. They bring down the guard that normally braces us to succeed and not let anything fall.

Today, I choose that vulnerability. I chose to trust in the grace and goodness of God instead of my superhuman-ness.

What about you? Can you take a moment to really drink in the present moment? What does a measure of that full enjoyment of this moment feel like for you?