There are times I sit down in church, scan the bulletin for the sermon title, and know with relief that the sermon is going to be exactly what I need to hear that day. I suppose that, going to church most weeks, it shouldn’t be a surprise when a few sermons a year really grab me, but when it happens it feels like a miracle.

It happened this morning, on a morning I was so not into going to church. It’s negative degrees here, and I just didn’t feel like it. But, the other morning activities were all leading to leaving for church, so I went with it.

All week I’ve been thinking hard about some questions. Mostly just where do I want to be 5 years from now, or 10? Not just geographically, but otherwise too. Anyway, these thoughts and ideas have been, well, really tormenting me all week. Sometimes it’s fun and exciting to think about the possibilities, but this week it was awful and scary.

So I sat down in the pew, behind a very plastic family. I often sit behind them since I like the right side, middle, location. The father never sings, or really shows any sort of interest at all. The teenagers almost fall asleep, and the mom doodles with the younger daughter. At least that’s how it looks.

The service started with singing, some quieter songs, and I was overwhelmed with wanting the silence to start immediately. The preacher preached about Elijah and God passing on the mountain, speaking in a small, still voice, and for the first time I actually heard a preacher discuss how exactly it is that you can start to achieve silence. It was amazing. We had a time for silent prayer, and I so desperately wanted the quiet, but the children near me, though they weren’t circus family children, did not seem to understand my desire for silence.

I came home, cursing the cold wind, and sat down to be silent. It wasn’t perfect…I don’t know that I heard God’s voice, but it’s a start.

I also decided that I need more daily silence, so I’m going to try giving up TV for a while. This also happens to coincide with lent. I wonder if I get credit for both being silent and giving up TV for lent. Just kidding. Anyway, I’m not a pharisee about it and I’m still going to watch Project Runway, but I’m trying it as an experiment. It’s very Kathleen Norris…not a deprivation, but an invitation to something more.

We shall see how it goes. I did pay off my ridiculous amount of library fines so I could start checking out books again. I have no idea where that $12 came from…

Totally unrelated photo: kitty pile-up.


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