There is something in everyone of you that waits, listens for the sound of the genuine in yourself and if you can not hear it, you will never find whatever it is for which you are searching and if you hear it and then do not follow it, it was better that you had never been born. . . .
Sometimes there is so much traffic going on in your minds, so many different kinds of signals . . . and you are buffeted by these and in the midst of all of this you have got to find out what your name is. Who are you? . . .Howard Thurman
As we come to the close of the summer, we often find ourselves going back into a rhythm we left behind a couple of months ago. Was there so much traffic in that rhythm that you lost yourself? Forgot who you were? Stepping out of that rhythm can bring cleansing, healing and a recharge that was vitally important.
Perhaps now it is time to listen to these beautiful words of Howard Thurman, (1900–1981), a mystic who sought to make peace between religions and founded the first major interracial, interfaith church in the United States, urging people to “listen for the sound of the genuine.”
How do we find the path forward?
Where do we hear the sound of the genuine?
I recently discovered a book entitled Sacred Ordinary Days, a journal of sorts which follows the Daily Office Readings and the Lectionary and includes a page for each day in which you prioritize your prayer life and your daily activities with an opportunity to acknowledge what you have accomplished and cue yourself to try again what you have not accomplished. There is also a section on each daily page for journaling, to do lists and doodling, an essential part of finding the path forward in my opinion! Every seven days there is a weekly examen and a Sabbath page to help you notice and cultivate the practice of Sabbath in your life. These pages include intentional spaces of rest to help quiet the mind, heart, sprit and body in order to restore and rejuvenate ourselves.
In preparation for my return to "the rhythm I left behind a couple of months ago," I have been using this text since the beginning of August, and I have found it incredibly helpful as I think about my path forward.
What really matters? What are three priorities for each day? What words from the daily readings call out to me for "reading, marking and inwardly digesting?" Where am I being pulled and stretched in a way that is stressful? Who am I???
Making a list of the priorities of my life and recognizing that I must put boundaries on those, and live into those boundaries, has given me great peace as I prepare to journey on the path forward. Under the Great Umbrella of the Triune God and living into the love of the Trinity, seeing the face of God in all those who cross my path, I will go forward today with a greater understanding of who I am and where I am going, with less "traffic going on in my mind."
I hope you will join me on this path forward, finding intentionality, peace and yourself as you go!
(This book is available online and at the St. John's Cathedral Bookstore.)