There was a wonderful post in the comments section after Day 11 on getting enough rest. The writer is named Matt and here’s what he shared: “The formula for a living a life towards God put together in the group I’m in and practiced for many years was 195.10 1/2F. This just means 1 hour of prayer, go to bed at 9 and wake at 5 (hence the 8 hrs of sleep), tithe 10%, study spiritual literature for ½ an hour a day, and fast on Fridays.”
I love that. It’s so clear. Even if this isn’t precisely the prescription you follow, you can use it as a guide. What are you investing in your spiritual life? What are you putting into the care of your very own soul? This isn’t some kind of leave-this-world-and-only-think-about-eternity thing. You’re in this world and now is the most eternal thing there is. Your life is important. Today is important. Relating to the people you love (and the people you don’t), doing your work and buying the groceries and watering the plants — that’s all important stuff. But your animating essence, your spirit within, is the key to all of it. Success or failure (in any real sense), happiness or lack of same, a charmed life in the here and now and in whatever comes next — that’s soul stuff. That means that things like Matt wrote about — spiritual disciplines such as prayer, spiritual study, fasting — are among the keys to a charmed life that’s real and lasting.
So: take a look at your spiritual life today. How’s it doing? You could even ask people close to you how they think you’re doing. How’s your kindness? How’s your patience? How’s your forgiveness? How’s your self-discipline? How your walking your talk? You won’t be perfect and I won’t be perfect, but that’s not an excuse for slacking off.
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Here’s another report from a reader of this blog, Maggie, who took “Get Up, Get Dressed, Get
Going” to heart. She went home after work and could have stayed in her beautiful apartment for a leisurely evening, but there was something she wanted to do in Midtown, so she got up, got dressed, and got going. What she didn’t know was that President Obama was in town and staying in a hotel right next door to where she needed to get. Not only was the entire block crawling with police and Secret Service, there were armored trucks barricading on every side, a protection against car-bombs. Maggie asked a policeman what her odds were of getting where she was headed. He asked which side of the street she’d need to be on. She said: “The wrong one, the one you’re trying to protect.” He said, “There’s only one way you can get there, with a police escort.” He was volunteering.
As they walked other policemen called out to her that she had the best escort, that she really rated, and that she was getting the VIP treatment. She knew she was. She was at the center of excitement, in the middle of everything, and doing precisely what she’d set out to do. This is what’s so magical about “Get Up, Get Dressed, Get Going.” You just never know….
Monks — Ian Campsall
Secret Service — David Schuttler
My headshot — David Rodgers, www.davidrodgersphotography.com