You are not here to verify,
Instruct yourself or inform curiosity
Or carry report. You are here to kneel...
-- T.S. Eliot, Little GiddingFor a variety of reasons (legitimate or otherwise), this has been a very difficult year to maintain a healthy rhythm of spiritual practices. If taking a leap of faith is a spiritual practice then we should be pretty much spiritually muscled up around here. One giant leap, with most days feeling like we're still hurdling through the air a bit. And, thus, airborne, not able to fit in other sorts of practices such as solitude, study, silence.
In April, our entire family returned to New York for a packed itinerary of family celebrations. Somehow that literal flying through the air, cross-country, and then back to Austin again helped us imagine our toes beginning to settle into the soil of Austin. We're still juggling more transition tasks that I don't want to think about right now, but our hearts and minds and bodies are beginning to exhale. It feels good.
|our Sabbath day at Barton Springs|
All of this settling down is a pretty good indicator that it's time to begin inhaling the Word and spiritual writings again rather than just snatching bits and pieces in the chaos of change. To pray the hours. To kneel by my red-quilted bedspread each midday, reading a Psalm, inviting my friends and enemies into my intercessions. Asking several times a day for my daily bread because I forget from one hour to the next if someone is going to take care of me. Or the rest of the whole world.
I pick up again in A Year With God, right at the discipline of Worship. A fitting response to the settling grace God lavished on our little family this year. I begin paying attention to moments again. Rehearse and recite the acts and presence of the God-with-us. Remember the notes to old songs, singing out loud in my kitchen. Snap photos of the common flaming bushes at the side of the road. And in my backyard.
I could swear I've been holding my breath for 9 months and am just now coming up for air. Gulping in God-beauty, warbling out grateful worship.
"To worship is to quicken the conscience by the holiness of God to feed the mind with the truth of God, to purge the imagination by the beauty of God, to open the heart to the love of God, to devote the will to the purpose of God." -- William Temple