Time & Place

I tend to be less organized than my wife. (Now there is an understatement!) I tend to go with the flow, see what happens and make it up as I go along. Though professionally I know and run strategic planning processes I prefer a more relaxed system. Thus when Nancy in 2008 suggested we build a specific prayer time into our schedule I was slightly resistant. But I discovered she was right. As our prayer time has become habitual it has increased in depth and meaning. Even on those days when I might prefer to skip it and do something else we usually take the time and this has helped to center us and nourish us through some stressful situations.

Then came Nancy’s suggestion that we have a prayer corner; a specific place for prayer.  Again I felt resistance. Why do we need a special place? We can pray anywhere., etc. But once my mumbling objections were noted we set aside a prayer corner in the bedroom. Beginning as two chairs facing one another this has been “outfitted” with some candles, some devotional materials, prayer book; now augmented by s censer, wall sconce and a handcrafted carved wooden cross.

Through these I have come to realize 5he importance of time and place in developing a personal spiritual practice. If we do not have a specific time it cannot become habitual.  It can easily be forgotten or shunted aside for something else. Other thing can so often seem more important.

And a specific space is a reminder of the importance in one’s life and schedule. It also becomes a silent witness to yourself that this is something that has a priority in your life.

If you want to develop a spiritual practice schedule it like you would schedule any other important appointment. And provide a specific dedicated place and it will become much easier to maintain the discipline and develop the practice to nourish your life in Christ.

Don

About don

The Rev Don Hill is an Episcopal priest, rail fan and writer. He and his wife the Rev. Dr. Nancy Woodworth-Hill are currently Co-Pastors of St Paul's Episcopal Church, Jeffersonville IN, in the Diocese of Indianapolis. They also work as parish consultants in Appreciative Inquiry, strategic planning and spirituality development for parishes and vestries.
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