Serving with a Quiet Mind in 2017
I grew up in a fantastic modern Church, but one that didn’t focus on liturgy. When I would occasionally attend a Catholic service for a wedding, funeral, or on campus in college, I didn’t see a lot of value in repeating standard prayers or confessing sins in unison with the rest of the Church body.
Now, being part of the Anglican Church, I have come to realize that value of repeatable and consistent worship, in addition to the spontaneous prayer and study that I still practice. Even though I read the same text every morning, something new speaks to me on a daily basis.
This morning a line jumped out at me in one of my repeatable habits (morning prayer)- in the Anglican Text for Common Prayer it says
“Grant your faithful people, merciful Lord, pardon and peace; that we may be cleansed from all our sins, and serve you with a quiet mind;”
Disclaimer: I was the person in english class, when we would analyze a text, who after two other students would raise their hands and say something that the teacher and class thought was profound, would chime in with groundbreaking insights — at least in my own mind — and be met with complete silence, similar to Billy Madison. But I will still take a pass at why I think this text is important.
With all that we have going on, a quiet mind is very hard to achieve. When we have nothing to distract us — take for example as we lay in bed trying to fall asleep — our minds race. We think about work, family, sports, activities, sickness, and to-do’s. It never ends. How are we supposed to serve the Lord if there is no room in our minds for him?
How are we supposed to find peace if there is no room in our minds for it?
A lot of people will blame technology and our phones for this — and I think this is partially right. But, I also think that we can flip this and use technology as a weapon to combat the loudness in our lives.
We often think of technology purely in its wasteful forms like sitting on social media or playing a game on our phones, but there is a lot more innovation going on outside of apps being put on phones.
We can now have our groceries delivered to save us a two hour trip to grocery store, stream a video instead of driving to Blockbuster, or have a machine wash and dry our clothes (I’m really pushing for this one at home). Even more “old-school” innovations like a dishwasher or disposable diapers save us a ton of time. Can you imagine laying in bed and trying to sleep if you had 10 dirty cloth diapers waiting for you to wash by hand in the morning?
The problem is, that even though we have become more efficient by using technology, we have filled the time that we save with more loud activity. If we start to think about how much time technology saves us every day and fill that time with quiet and edifying activities, we will find more peace and a quiet mind.