Thursday, September 13, 2007

The Pause That Refreshes

Yesterday was a good day but very busy at work. I did have some peaceful moments while sitting alone in a break room. There I was, a 56 year old man, lost in his thoughts, eating Scooby Doo Graham Crackers that were shaped liked dog biscuits. I took them from the cabinet at home where we keep treats for my granddaughter, Chloe. These thoughts, however, are not about Scooby Doo or Graham Crackers. They are about making time in your day, no matter how busy it is, for some silence and solitude. Most of our lives are filled with busyness and many activities and demands. Our lives can make us feel like spinning tops. Sometimes this makes us feel like we are out of control. Sometimes we spin so fast and for so long that we feel we cannot stop. This is not good for human beings and sooner or later you will stop because you have crashed. It is important to take some time throughout your day, if only for a few minutes, to simply stop and breathe. That's what I was doing while eating my Scoopy Doo Graham Crackers. While eating them I quietly said, "O God, come to my assistance. O Lord, make haste to help me". This short prayer is the opening to all the prayers said by the monks at the monastery. The have selected prayers for every part of the day. These prayers are called the Liturgy of the Hours. For monks, they begin with Vigils at 3:15 AM and end with Compline, also know as night prayer, at 7:30 PM. Their entire day is broken up by these pauses for prayer. Most people living in the world cannot formally stop six or seven times a day and spend 15 - 30 minutes in prayers. I do wish offices had non denominational meditation rooms where employees could have personal quiet time on their breaks and lunches. What I do throughout my day when the Spirit moves me is have a quiet moment within myself. No one knows when I do this. I need to do this for my own spiritual benefit and to maintain some sense of centeredness in my day. I encourage all of you to periodically pause in your day and retreat within the solitary place that's deep in your heart. It is the pause that refreshes.

It is a cool morning. Today I noticed the sunrise. It was beautiful and the morning sky was filled with color. That is a sure sign the season is changing. One of the great things about autumn and winter are the sunrises. Unlike the intensity of a summer sunrise, in autumn and winter, God produces some of his best work. It's worth getting up early just to see the art show.

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