Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Silence, Yoda, Tigger and Lent

I'm not good at silence.

In fact, I'm so much of a talker that when I have to focus, I sometimes have to remove myself from people in order to meet a deadline. It's not that I can't focus, but it's that I really like people (most days) that much!
 I am one of those people that used to get comments on their report cards like...
Is a good student that needs to apply herself....
Needs to spend less time talking with her neighbor...
and so on.

My Dad gave me the nickname 'Tigger' as a kid too.
Not only was I a talker, but a bouncer as well.

Tigger image found at Pankblog

I think you get my point.
I'm not that good at silence or sitting still.



While I like to think I listen to people fairly well, my prayerful listening could really use some work.
While I'm fascinated by "centering, contemplative, and reflective forms of prayer",
I'm usually to restless a person to manage silent prayer for more than a few minutes.
However, when I meet folks that have embraced silence as a part of prayer, I'm astounded by the solid, centered disposition they exude.  They always come off as a type of "Yoda" to me.
Here a "Tigger" of a person is enamored by the "Yoda's" of the praying world.

Image found at wikia



This Lent, I'm working full-time and taking two seminary courses.
My time is full with family, ministry and homework.
Earlier this week, I was reaching a point of scurrying that was making me feel frantic.



On  Monday morning, I stopped.
That evening, I spent a few hours with a dear friend over dessert.
Then I worked out my reading schedule for the week - well almost.
Tuesday morning I came across a website called "Abby of the Arts" that offered some helps on living a contemplative (Think Monk/Nun/Desert Mothers or Fathers) life in the world.

As I listened to the first podcast on silence (Notice a theme here), I was challenged by the call to: (paraphrasing here)
' Stop looking for another book, journal or way to think about, do, or discuss the contemplative life - simply open the door and take some time to compassionately enter silent prayer. Try it. Be gentle with yourself as you simply present yourself to God each day. To rest. To pray. To be present with God.'

The words cut me to the quick. Making room for some silence, just 10 minutes a day, might be just what I need this lent.
I know I'm a Tigger.
But this Tigger could do with a little
rest and sitting in God's embrace for a little while.
10 minutes. Silence. My lent.

While I knew silence was key, I kept thinking to my frantic Tigger self,
"But what do I focus on?"

A friend sent me a link to a visual means of observing Lent via Instagram.
Each day  you take a photo based on the theme of the day. I'd like to give
this a shot, (pun intended) as I post a picture a day via Instagram working with the
theme of the day.Thanks friend, I needed some help with a focal point.


I'm starting small - 10 minutes a day.
 Silence.
Me and God.
No phone. No noise - and no textbooks allowed.
The Instagram part will be fun and give me a focal point for my silent time -
 but only after the silence I will seek a "picture" to express what is stirring under the surface of the quiet.

Silence, rest and pictures.
All quiet things.

While this may not be the easiest thing for a 'Tigger' to stop bouncing,
this is just a pause and a picture a day.
But one that this Tigger is thankful to have found.

Blessings on your Lenten journey.
May you find a little time to draw close to God as well.

James 4:8 - 
Come close to God, and God will come close to you.
Wash your hands, you sinners; purify your hearts, 
for your loyalty is divided between God and the world.



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