Tuesday, June 26, 2007


Monday, 6:45 p.m.
As much as I like unstructured time, as much as I appreciate the openness of pastoral ministry, I am convicted about the value of daily, weekly, seasonal, and annual spiritual rhythms. And I do mean for every practicing Christian (of course, I'm not sure there is such a thing as a non-practicing Christian, but that's another blog entry). Israel lived by them. Jesus lived by them. Paul lived by them. A whole lot of the saints lived by them.  That's pretty good company.
I truly believe that capitalism, particularly, but western development, generally, has become the rhythm and reason of our lives.  One tiny example: the coffee break was replaced by coffee in offices. One rhythm broken.  So we expect to operate 24/7/52, with everything adjusting to make that happen.  But the liturgical (and seasonal) year is nuanced, to use Phyllis Tickle's word. The energy of the day itself has peaks and valleys: nighttime is naturally quieter than day; dawn than dusk. The psalmist writes of praising God seven times daily, hence the prayer observation of the hours. Fasting and prayer prepared Jesus for both the temptations and his arrest. "Efficiency" experts now advise not mutlitasking, and specifically not to do email first thing, or let it interrupt other activities. Rhythm matters.
The key question is "what, and how?" 
It's almost 7. I promised myself that this week I would not write after 7, leaving the rest of the evening to meditation, prayer, and reading. And rest.

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