Week Twenty Six - Day One: End of Day
Keeping with the spirit of review, let’s look again at how we ended our very first day together. If you were not part of the project at that point or if you missed the first day, this explanation will help you understand why we started this project in the first place.
Obviously, the goal of these exercises is not just that we will dedicate a few moments of each day to having a “spiritual meal.” I certainly hope we will do that, but the real goal is that these moments will create a rhythm to our lives that will begin to make EVERY PART of each day a spiritual activity. Just like the rhythmic activity of breathing out and breathing in oxygenates all of our thinking and movement, I pray that we will begin to experience a real spiritual rhythm that provides energy and direction for all of our interactions and thoughts and decisions.
We talked this morning about the need for spiritual nourishment. I hope these exercises will provide that for all of us. I know I was mixing metaphors in that last paragraph, throwing both “breathing” and “eating” at you, but bear with me because it may also be helpful for us to think of the structure of this project – the daily reflections and the texts – and the ritual involved as a kind of breathing out and breathing in.
The word “office” in our title “daily office” comes from the Latin for work. This terminology was first used in monastic settings. St. Benedict, who inspired and led the Benedictine monastic movement, was famous for teaching that all of life is spiritual. He is known to have said, “To pray is to work; to work is to pray.” According to St. Benedict’s rules, all participants who came to live as part of one of the Benedictine communities were required to participate in prescribed times of work and prescribed times of prayer throughout the day. The Benedictines were probably the first to use the term “daily office” to refer to their regular corporate times of prayer together.
I have had the opportunity to spend retreats times at various monasteries over the years. These times have been both weird and wonderful. The weird part … well, go retreat yourself to one of those places for a few days and then we’ll talk. But the wonderful part has been the experience of touching the front edges of real spiritual rhythm while participating with them in their daily offices. In fact, those experiences were part of the inspiration for this project.
Pastor Bill Hybels wrote a book a number of years ago called Too Busy Not to Pray. He nailed it didn’t he? We live under the illusion that we are too busy to take time to nourish our spirits. I suggest we remind ourselves that the reverse is true: we are too busy not to be well-nourished spiritually. We have too much going on, there is too much at stake, there are too many relational interactions, too many decisions to be made, too much stress and too little tangible impact for us not to be spiritually well-connected and healthy.
Before we go to sleep, let’s revisit Psalm 119:148. “My eyes stay open through the watches of the night that I may meditate on your promises.” Maybe the Psalmist has pulled night watchman duty and he’s simply saying that as he makes his rounds, he will be thinking about God’s promises. Or maybe he’s using the whole night watchman thing as an analogy. Maybe instead of looking out for the enemy or for danger, he’s going to “look out” for God’s promises.
- 1.Think about what promises God has made to you. If you’re drawing a blank, try asking Him.
- 2.End your day by praying this: “Guide us waking, O Lord, and guard us sleeping; that awake we may watch with Christ, and asleep we may rest in peace.”
- 3.Lights out!
Most recent posts
- Week Twenty Six - Day Four: End of Day
- Week Twenty Six - Day Four: 5pm Text
- Week Twenty Six - Day Four: Noon Text
- Week Twenty Six - Day Four
- Week Twenty Six - Day Three: End of Day
- Week Twenty Six - Day Three: 5pm Text
- Week Twenty Six - Day Three: Noon Text
- Week Twenty Six - Day Three
- Week Twenty Six - Day Two: End of Day
- Week Twenty Six - Day Two: 5pm Text
- Week Twenty Six - Day Two: Noon Text
- Week Twenty Six - Day Two
- Week Twenty Six - Day One: 5pmText
- Week Twenty Six - Day One: End of Day
- Week Twenty Six - Day One: Noon Text
- Week Twenty Six - Day One
- Week Twenty Five - Day Four: 5pm Text
- Week Twenty Five - Day Four: End of Day
- Week Twenty Five - Day Four: Noon Text
- Week Twenty Five - Day Four