Breath of God

I overheard that "unfriend" had made it into Webster's dictionary last year, reflecting the impact social media has had, particularly over the last couple of years.

I don't know if it made "Word of the Decade" or some such thing, I don't even know if there is such a thing. If I had to coin a "Word of the Decade," the short list of contenders would include "crazybusy," and I still recommend Ed Hallowell's book of the same title.

Do you notice that you are being pulled in more and more directions? Do you find yourself asking yourself after a particularly breathless day, "Why am I doing this?" - I do. Do you sometimes wonder if the time you spend rushing around from one thing to the next is time well spent? I do. A lot more people, it seems, are in a hurry from early morning until late night, more people than just ten years ago. What's getting squeezed out in the process is time to breathe, time to ponder, time to simply open up to the wonder of it all. At least that's my experience. How about you?

One thing I have thought about the most and sat with  recently is the impression that church life has become just another contender in a battle over the limited number of time slots on our weekly calendar. I wonder if our approach to church life has become too program driven and event focused. I wonder if our understanding of faith and church life has shifted even more from "that which gives rhythm, shape and meaning to our life" to "that which adds a selection of spiritual experiences to a growing list of other commitments and distractions."

I use my blackberry-synced, always-on calendar with multiple reminder functions to improve the rhythm of my week, and this year I'm introducing a new element.

On Monday mornings at 8:30 am, I'm adding thirty minutes of silent prayer. On Wednesday evenings at 5:30 pm, I'm adding thirty minutes of silent prayer. I'll be in our chapel when I'm in town, or in some quiet place when I'm away.

Thirty minutes of silent prayer on Monday mornings and on Wednesday evenings.

Time to breathe in and breathe out.

Time to sync the rhythm of my life with the breath of God.

Time to protect myself from unfriending myself in the crazybusy zigzag of MoTuWedThuFrSaSo.

If you live and/or work in Nashville, I invite you to join me. We'll just sit in the chapel for thirty minutes in silence. You can read, you can pray, you can even take a nap. Monday mornings at 8:30, Wednesday evenings at 5:30.

Otherwise, please try this at home.