Friday, March 6, 2009

Surfacing and sleep (and a few words on prayer)

Turned in grades on time. Slept all day yesterday. (I teach almost nonstop Monday-Wednesday including evenings, with office hours in between, so Thursday is open.) Made supper, noodled around, went back to bed at a normal time, slept 9 hours. Quite possibly could have slept longer, but I'd set an alarm clock or two. Her Grace, a most civilized feline, wakes up when I do, so there was no disturbance in the wee hours.

Now on to a day of desk work, and then it's spring break.

First, off to the Psalms of the Daily Office. I tend not to get much farther than the Psalms because they are so rich. Also, there are too many words in the Daily Office. Just sayin'. I mused about this two years ago.

1 comment:

Jane R said...

Magdalene (the Rev., and a fine preacher she is) wrote this in the comments in the post above. I paste it here because it is relevant to the issue I raised in the final paragraph of this post.

Jane, I've been saying the PCUSA morning prayer more regularly of late (it is very, very similar to the daily office) and... yeah. I know what you mean. I don't like that it sets up an "achievement" thing in me... as in, Must. Get. Through. This. Which is antithetical to my understanding of how to do lectio... which, in my understanding is the "right" way to read scripture. (Question: how many SHOULD'S can I squeeze into one comment? Hmmm?)

I've been rising earlier to do this, and of late I've bee thinking: what if during that early hour I read a psalm and simply pray/ be/ meditate, and then do the office later in the day (evening prayer, for example)? I think I'm craving more unstructured time with scripture... and more time that's not about producing a sermon.

BTW, I am using "When In Doubt Sing" as a basis for much of my Lenten series... expect shout-outs soon! And I'll shout it in the congregation, too!

Thanks for the kind words about WIDS, Mags.

I couldn't agree with you more - and indeed I have the same reflex, wanting to dwell longer with Scripture when I first approach it early in the day, especially the Psalms because they come up first in the Office, and sometimes one of the readings for the day, but no more -- and THEN reading the full Office later in the day.

I have a different reflex about the Office when I say it in community, but even if I was in community once or twice a day I believe I would have the same pull toward lectio divina or some version of it in private prayer. We have such a rush of words and language these days that we need that chew-on-a-few-words-and-listen time perhaps even more than our spiritual ancestors did. All of us, of course, deal with the clatter inside. The desert fathers and mothers in the desert knew well that the chattering in one's head doesn't stop when one gets away from society.

I think that for those of us who preach there is also that desire to refresh ourselves at the well, or streams, of Holy Writ, without a task or a goal. It's vital that we continue to do so or our spiritual life will wither. 'cause it ain't about performance.

Thanks again for weighing in on this and sharing your experience.