This afternoon during August’s nap time I read Psalm 10 while I curled up under a sweatshirt blanket feeling sorry for myself. I haven’t been feeling great lately. Today I was sick to my stomach and whiney, at least to myself. (August doesn’t really care if I’m whining, so I’ve given up on trying to get compassion from him.)
I don’t know what Psalms the Benedicts were reading this afternoon in their noontime prayers, but as I lay on the couch under my blanket, I imagined their voices chanting the words my eyes ran through on the page. My eyes stopped where they always stop at Psalm 10, on verse 4. “…In all their thoughts there is no room for God.”
Why do I read this verse over and over, the tenth of every month, feeling conviction that those words are for me, yet fail to make a shift in my thoughts? Why do I consistently fail to make room for God in my daily life? How is it that I find myself lying on the couch at 2 in the afternoon and realize I’ve barely thought of God throughout my morning of worrying about August’s croupy cough, helping him make biscuits, worrying about my sick grandmother-in-law, throwing up in the bathroom while August brings me his blankey, and reading Thomas and the School Trip. Not one moment of thanks came through my mind this morning. There were brief prayers for Chris’ grandmother, little snippets of words flicked through my mind. But did I recognize God’s goodness? Did I pray for August’s cough or my nausea or thank God for biscuit mix? I didn’t make room.
I’m learning that as much as I read books about prayer, work to integrate spiritual practices into my life, and BLOG about those things, the only thing that’s really going to change my prayer life is a conscious, moment by moment effort to live slowly, to make room in my mind for Jesus. The practices may show me how to make that room but first, I have to live slowly enough to stop and say “Thank you,” to stop and say “I believe in you,” or “I recognize you right now,” or “I love you.”
So, what I need is for you all to teach me this one thing: How do you live slowly enough to make room in your thoughts for God? Is anyone out there just a little further down that path than I am? Can you point a little light on the empty spots in my clogged brain?