I need to be reminded, regularly, to take time for quiet, for reflection, for attending to my spiritual health. I write a prayer most mornings, but I often let the time slip by and instead busy myself with the day. Hopefully, I do not judge myself for all those misses, but rather remind myself that every day is a new chance to focus on what matters. Kindness starts with the self, after all.
This quote, from Patricia Hampl’s wonderful book Virgin Time, was just what I needed this week. She writes: “Whether God exists or not remains forever a fascination. But God, believed in or not, remains only the elected official for the colossal job of mystery. To my mind, prayer was the real question. For prayer exists, no question about that. It is a peculiarly human response to the fact of this endless mystery of bliss and brutality, impersonal might and lyric intimacy that composes our experience of life. As the human response to this mystery, prayer, not the existence of God, is the thing to be decided.”
I understand this to mean that it is what we do more than what we think that matters in the spiritual life, that being open more than having decided is essential to spiritual health. We have always claimed that our faith is about deeds, not creeds. To respond to the ‘endless mystery’ is what faith is about. There is an old phrase ‘make of your life a prayer’ that has stayed with me, and seems like a goal for us all. Make of your life a prayer – what would that mean for you?
Rev. Jim Nelson