Friday, January 02, 2009

Thoughts at the Turn of the Year

(elaborated from diary, 12/29/08)

I've been thinking about changes in the new year. I want to be healthier, a better preacher, a better musician, and have a more regular prayer life. So changes need to be made in all those areas.

Exercise? Do it. I walked for 40 minutes this morning, which at my pace is about 2 miles.

Preaching? Change the creation rhythm,because the change I want is to not have pressure on Sunday mornings.

Music? Kinda like exercise, in that I should practice, both mandolin and my new pursuit, bass guitar. I should also try to understand music theory better.

Prayer Life? I am in the final discernment period about whether to become a Benedictine Oblate through the Monastery of St. Brigid of Kildare, a United Methodist house sponsored through the General Board of Discipleship. My hesitations revolve around the fact that to pledge to live in a benedictine style requires regular contact with the other members, and this is a house that has very little physical presence, and exists almost entirely online and by conference call. What physical presence it does have is located in Minnesota, and this years' annual gathering is in Northeastern Kansas. My distance from these areas and my family obligations in the summer put me in a quandary, because the Rule of St. Benedict puts high value both on regular contact with the house, and fidelity to the oblates' commitments. One of my pledges in final oblation will almost certainly be being present, mindful, and available in the most important commitments of my life, and being a dad and a husband certainly count among the highest of those.

Living according to the Rule of St. Benedict doesn't present as much of a problem to me as the proximity of the house I want to pledge oblation to. Praying the Psalms three times a day is something that to my mind presents less of a problem than maintaining community.

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