Philosopher, Eric Hoffer, saw that unlike the perfection he saw in nature, humans remained “permanently unfinished”. We are always a “work in progress”. I like the image used by both the philosophical John Dewey and the theologian Karl Rahner who labeled each of us as “unfinished symphonies”.
Life at times can seem a little discordant. As we largely have no script for the particular complexities of our time and circumstances, it is important to intentionally take time to slow down and reflect on what we are doing and how this affects what we are becoming.
A cardiac professor demonstrating a procedure told his students “at this point in the operation, you have only 60 seconds, to tie off the artery, or the patient will die. He then added, “This is why, you must slow down and take your time”.
Formation is the process of exercising deliberate attention to what we do in alignment with who we are, and what we are becoming. In chaotic, stressful and uncertain times, it might seem like a luxury. It is not a luxury. It is essential. It is about taking responsibility for our unfinished symphonies.