We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
My men's Bible study group had a good discussion about prayer and worship early yesterday morning, but we ended up focusing on how we do, or fail to, make space to let God into our daily lives, and to open the door for guidance and inspiration from the Holy Spirit.
We discussed how, in Acts 13, they fasted and prayed as a way to invite the Holy Spirit to guide their missionary intentions. We discussed how quieting the mind and turning off the Blackberry can be a sort of "input fasting."
The discussion reminded me of what a friend once advised me when I felt my prayer wasn't "working" (I don't mean I wasn't getting the right answer: I mean that I didn't feel I was in communion). My friend wisely said "When conversing with God, you need to STFU some of the time. You're talking too much to be able to listen. That's not a relationship."
I am not a child. I do not need to be told what to do in life most of the time (except by She Who Must Be Obeyed, on occasion. eg: "Call the vet," and "Take your BP meds," and "Bring hence some mint from the garden," and "You can't go to town in those filthy wrinkled pants."). But I do want and need God via the Holy Spirit as my co-pilot to give me light in the tough times, to lift me up in the good times, and to help keep my life aligned, as best I can discern it, with God's will.
So I need to clear out the junk and make more mental space for that. Fall Cleaning. Otherwise, I'm just another animal, controlled by desires and interests, and constrained and regulated by ordinary reality. It's all really His space, isn't it?
I watched Into Great Silence just last night. 5 stars for those of you interested in the lives of the Roman Catholic monastery of the Grande Chartreuse, one of the most disciplined orders in the world. They have one monastery in the U.S., in Vermont, and accept no visitors.
They commit their lives to knowing God in His purest form through contemplation, silence, brotherhood. It is a movie that will stay with me for a long time.