My walk on a rare cloudy day...
Happy New Year my follow Pilgrims.
I hope your holidays were filled with the light and love that only comes from the warmth of the Divine. I have had a beautiful season. My mother was visiting from December 16 to January 16. We celebrated Christmas, New Year and her youngest grandchild's 10th birthday. It's hard to believe that my baby is 10.
So after saying goodbye to my mom and trying to locate and pack away the last of the errant Christmas decorations, I finally cleared my schedule for a few minutes alone with all of you. I have so many things to share about my plans for this year; but for now I thought I would share some details of the inner workings of my daily faith life.
I don't know about you; but there have been times when I thought I was doing this prayer thing all wrong. Honestly, I don't meditate everyday, don't sit down with Scripture for even a few minutes most days. I admit sometimes I choose sleep over prayer, or coffee with a girlfriend or even just to watch something mind-numbing streaming on my screen. So the question becomes, how do you stay connected with the Divine when so much noise and distractions are surrounding your daily journey?
First, we need to re-frame what most of us consider time with the Divine. I'm not sure why, but many of us have grown-up believing that prayer time needs to be in a house of worship. While that can be a beautiful place to pray and for some among us, it centers us quickly, it's not always the best place. For many of us with Beauties, going to a service for years was part wrestling match, part hairy eye balls; washed down with many threats. A wonderful way to meet the face of the Creator.
Just this past Sunday; my family of four was so irritated with one another I replied while getting ready for church: "We all need to talk to Jesus, because I don't have anything nice to say to any of you right now."
We then spent the 10 minute drive to Mass flicking and bickering with each other. Mass was an hour where we couldn't talk to each other--which was a gift. I'm happy to report that we were all smiling well before communion. I take great comfort in knowing, I'm not alone in having a bad day with my Beauties.
Which gets me back to your prayer life. Sometimes I'm distracted. So creating the space where I can be open to hearing the voice of the Divine can be tricky.
One of the best things about the move has been my ability to spend time outside year around. Before the move, I literately spent months inside in bed; too sick to move. The more temperate climate has changed my life. Within my neighborhood is a protected wild life preserve, Jeffrey created a simple walk for me that is a couple of miles. It's an easy walk, but filled with such beauty, mountain views, a small lake, birds and plants I have never seen. The walk brings me peace for which I had been searching--this special place is my Spiritual retreat. I leave everyone and go for a lovely walk meeting the Divine in every view.
What makes this walk a retreat is my smartphone. Crazy as it sounds, it's an integral part of my walk. From the music I play, to the meditations, or even the podcasts by religious thinkers. My i-phone connects me to the Divine on this walk.
Many of us aren't smartphone savvy; I admit I'm not the best on my i-Phone; but it's easy to find great tools on the App Store. One of my favorite apps is "On Being with Krista Tippet", which includes podcasts of Krista interviewing speakers that I love like Fr. Richard Rohr, Fr. James Martin and others. Or I simply download some Gregorian Chants to help me meditate on my walk. Each of these offer me an escape. Each offer me a beautiful walk with a friend. Here is the best part, most of the podcasts are free! If you are looking for a new way to change your prayer life, look no further than to technology to connect you with voices you need to hear. I also like that it's a two-fer, I'm getting sunshine, fresh air and building my prayer life.
So consider it my New Year's Gift to you... Enhancing your prayer life is as easy as a walk and a listen.
Till we catch up on the trail again. All my love my Pilgrims
The Pilgrimage Gal