If you purchased or were given a Daily Planner for 2020 chances are that you have had to stroke a lot of items and add a few question marks. Perhaps you have had to leave entire weeks blank. Could you simply write “postponed due to COVID-19” on multiple pages? I use an electronic planner and then write notes day by day for what I really did. Zoom Meeting or my preferred term, Zoom Gathering, has become a common entry.
What does our life of faith teach us about daily routine and scheduling?
Planning is not simply about jotting down the tasks of the day. It is about expressing a viewpoint, an attitude, a spiritual attitude with which one chooses to approach the day’s tasks and demands. It helps us discern what is profoundly important, vital and life giving in our lives. We are encouraged to turn our lives and our wills over to God daily. We seek ways to balance this with meeting our commitments to family, friends, church community and more.
As Anglicans we are gifted with prayer books that can help us in this area. The Book of Common Prayer suggests that all Christians develop a detailed plan for Christian living. It is called a Rule of Life and is found on page 555. Many other Christian sources teach us the importance of having a daily, weekly, monthly routine that anchors our days in faith.
It has been my experience in my own life and often in speaking with others, that we will often over complicate this and set the bar so high that we naturally fall short. I have learned that keeping it simple and doable is what works well. Personally, my routine is to start each day with prayer, some reading and reflection. I vary the material from time to time. A few of my favorites are:
1) Read and absorb these Daily Meditations (By the way we are looking for people to submit. Please just Email me for details)
2) “Daily Prayer with the Corymeela Community” by Padraig O Tuama
3) “Embers, one Ojibway’s Meditation”, by Richard Wagamese.
4) “Forward Day by Day”, I subscribe to it by E-mail. It includes the scripture readings for the day and a podcast.
5) Society of St. John the Evangelist, “Word of the day”. Online.
6) Some of you from the Parish have introduced me to “Norval United Church, Daily Minute”, another daily online resource.
7) “Listening for the Heartbeat of God, A Celtic Spirituality, “by Philip Newell.
8) “Prayer” by Michael Mayne
9) “Let Your Life Speak” by Parker Palmer
There are numerous other resources and or book but again easy does it. Read a few paragraphs thoughtfully and prayerfully rather than rushing through a chapter. All the online resources are searchable as are the books. If you have any questions, please ask. As I said I use different ones at different times. All point me to prayer and to reading of scripture.
To bring us back to Daily Planning, what I am offering here is a way to plan the beginning and/or end of each day. Weekly, we can schedule for worship. In these times that may mean participating in “Church outside the Walls”, Virtual Worship. Monthly you can schedule to meet with your Spiritual Director. I will write more on that for another day. If you do not have a Spiritual Director start by praying that God bring one into your life or point you to someone.
Blessings today and forever.
The Rev. Lon Towstego