Scratch that. Moving…Day TWO.
Last night, I started typing…and promptly fell asleep. Sigh. Moving is intense. Disconcerting. Discombobulating. Exhausting.
In the midst of the discombobulation, I’m finding that consistent prayer practice is keeping me grounded. A decade ago, an amazing program for clergywomen called Women Touched by Grace introduced me to Benedictine spirituality. A motto for the Benedictines is ora et labora–prayer and work. Some interpret it to mean “Prayer is work and work is prayer.” The phrase is a reminder that, when undergirded by prayer, anything can become a means of meeting God…even the process of moving.
So, I’m working hard each morning–even in the midst of the chaos–to stick to my prayer routine: I read a few Psalms, a portion of Sr. Joan Chittister’s commentary on Benedict’s Rule, and an entry from A Year with Dietrich Bonhoeffer. Then I sit in silence with a lit candle for 20 minutes. Fireworks don’t go off when I practice prayer. It’s more like it helps my soul to settle and to remember that no matter what’s happening, no matter what’s going wrong, no matter how frazzled I feel, God is with me. God is always with me, loving me, hoping for my wholeness, and sending all kinds of folks to help “act me into wellbeing.”
I’m currently reading Psalms from The Inclusive Bible. The translation (more dynamic equivalence) is different enough that I’m able to hear many of these familiar psalms in new ways. This morning I read Psalm 77. It very much resonates with where I am right now in the midst of this move.
I cried to God for help; I cried out to God to hear me. In the day of my distress I sought you, YHWH, and by night I lifted my outstretched hand in prayer. I lay sweating and nothing would cool me; nothing could comfort me. When I called you to mind, I groaned; as I lay thinking, gloom overcame my spirit.
As happens in lots of psalms, the psalmist goes on for a while about how miserable they are, then they remember God’s deeds in the past and gain courage from the memory.
And then I remember your deeds, YHWH–yes, I will call to mind your wonderful acts of long ago. I will meditate on all your works, and think about all you have done.
The dynamic interplay between present stress and memories of past presence of the divine is bringing loads of comfort right now. Recalling all the ways God has held me and helped me in the past gives me courage and hope for this present moment.
Another thing that gives me hope is seeing my stuff moved to storage and into my new church office. Thank you to my Asheville friends!