Saturday, September 24, 2011

Moving Morning Prayer

One day this past week, as I was driving into town to St. Paul's, my thoughts were preoccupied with to-do lists, deadlines, pastoral concerns, administrative details,  et cetera. A familiar feeling.
      My "commute" is actually a relatively short and lovely one..compared to those of commuters in larger cities driving on frantic interstate highways or facing bumper-to-bumper traffic.  The drive from our home to the church is about 8.5 miles...much of it through beautiful rolling green fenced farmland (guarded most mornings by a predictable and regal lone hawk sitting sentinel on his telephone wire "throne" - stunning!).
     Most days, it is a joy to make that fifteen or so minute journey through rural Alabama....a "grounding and centering" drive to prepare me for the day's tasks that await. But this particular morning, my mind was overwhelmed with what felt like a tsunami of responsibilities on all levels....all of them wonderful, all of them exciting...but, coming all at once, pretty overwhelming.
    At some point on the drive in, I happend to slide a compact disc of Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli's Sacred Arias into the car CD player........ Instantly, the space in my 2005 Honda was transformed. As I continue to drive, I allowed the exquisite music and Bocelli's impeccable voice to wash over me, to "ground and center me" musically, to pull me back into the truth of the loving God in whom we live and move and have our being. As I drew closer and closer to town and to church, I felt those impending deadlines and lengthy to-do lists transformed back into the ministry from which they had emerged in the first place. A deep sense of patient peace descended upon me. As I pulled into my church parking space, I felt prepared to embrace once again the joys of ministry and mission in the name of Christ.
       A long-time spiritual practice of mine is to pray the Daily Office of Morning Prayer first thing at church (or at home on days "off") as a prelude to the day. That I continue to do. But...that morning last week in the car,  I was graced with a "moving Morning Prayer" with the great Andrea Bocelli as my "companion on the Way." It was beautiful. And as accessible as a little CD. 

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