Regular PFO-er, Tim, sent me a post from Campfire Cowboy Ministries. In it, the author suggests “five ways to get your focus back on God without feeling like you’re attending seminary.” They all seem good to me so I’ve taken the points and “de-cowboyed” them to suit our rather more urban/urbane audience.
1. Make some good habits
The author suggests saying “a little prayer when you drink that first cup of coffee in the morning.” Great idea. I also try to write down at least once a day something I’m grateful for and I strive, when driving, to say a prayer every time I see a church steeple or some other “spiritual trigger.”
2. Look at something in your everyday life in a new way
As St. Ignatius told us, God is to be found in everyone and in everything. One fine way to proceed is to take time to examine something prosaic and ordinary in order to discover what’s extraordinary and sacred about it.
3. Try not to complain
I was at the foot surgeon the other day, feeling more than a little sorry for myself because I have some arthritis and will need an operation. In the waiting room, I encountered an older woman in leg braces with severely distorted feet. She was absolutely cheerful and it was clear that the staff in the office adored her. Her great attitude put my minor problem in better perspective.
4. Smile more often
I think it was Charlie Chaplin who wrote the lyrics, “Smile, though your heart is aching, Smile, even though it’s breaking…” There’s something to this. I’m not suggesting we deny or suppress our true feelings, but when we can get out of ourselves enough to be kind and gentle with others, we’re doing a real mitzvah.
5. Just relax
The author of the original post writes, “that doesn’t mean you get a full-time recliner job. It means to go out and work and do your best and let [Jesus] worry about the rest.” Amen. But I also think we do need to get enough rest and relaxation to be able to “rest into God.” If we’re overwrought and frantic, it’s almost impossible to connect with God.