God in My Mailbox

1880280324_ca65f5e0e9There is no such thing as a typical work day or week in the life of an Alban consultant. My prayer discipline or lack thereof, reflects the chaos of the work schedule. Oftentimes I work on weekends, but other times I have weekends off and work more intensely in the middle of the week. Some days I am working out of my home office; other days I’m working out of an airport, hotel room or retreat center; and some days I’m working onsite in a client congregation. I often work afternoons and evenings, but sometimes have to hit the ground running in the morning. The point is that it has been difficult for me to establish a regular pattern for daily devotional times. I can’t predict what a normal workday looks like, so I have difficulty setting a routine time aside to be in prayer.

 In response to this dilemma I’ve developed a quasi-discipline of letting the arrival of a daily email with lectionary scripture readings prompt a devotional moment. Wherever I am, when I open my email and see the lectionary reading I take a moment to pause, ground myself in scripture, and remind myself to whom I belong.

It’s been a pretty reliable system, until several weeks ago. For some mysterious reason the lectionary readings quit showing up in my mailbox.  Here’s the horrifying thing. It took me an entire week to realize that I had not been prompted to be in prayer. Granted, it was an especially out of the ordinary week, and granted I was engaging in a lot of prayer on the fly, (“God, please let me make the flight connection in Atlanta!”) but nevertheless I went an entire week without intentional prayer and scripture, and I didn’t notice it. (Well, in retrospect it’s pretty clear that I was not spiritually grounded…but in the moment I failed to recognize it.)

 I suspect that I’m not the only large church leader to whom this happens. What do we do when the business and busyness of doing ministry becomes so all consuming that we forget the One who called us to the work?  What have you learned about keeping the main thing, the main thing?

Photo Credit: Digital Agent


One Response to “God in My Mailbox”

  1. Christine Robinson Says:

    In parish ministry I have a little more regular schedule…but only a little. I find I have almost complete control over when I get up in the morning…and can decide to get up in time to pray, and usually control over when I go to bed at night, to make the first easier. All other attempts at prayer regularity have been a completely failure for me, except one. I also have complete control of my time on airplanes and have for years now spent the time between “we’ve been cleared for take off” and “you can turn your laptops on now”, for prayer.

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