Somewhere I read that the "rabbis" advise the pilgrim NOT to try to pray for three days while
travelling: we need to let our souls catch up to our bodies. We've been on the road for 10 days and I've only found myself grounded enough for prayer twice. Hmmmm... 

I walked the labyrinth at Scarritt-Bennett this afternoon and that was calming.  I used my prayer beads to get settled:  The Gloria followed by Hail Mary, 7 Trisagions followed by the Lord's Prayer in four cycles. (got that?!?) Once inside the labyrinth my mind was at rest and the walk was warm and gentle. A thought popped up, too:  When I am away from church, I don't fret much about "making things work" - things like finances, marketing, administration - that's what grinds me down. For the past 10 days I have steadfastly NOT fretted (or even wondered) about such things. So, one of the questions I'm going to walk with during the rest of this sabbatical is how can I BE at church and not give in to fretting? (I have some clues already, but it is better for me to sit, walk and simply be with this question for a few months.)

The other time was just before I went into jazz vespers practice last night. I was justifiably nervous about playing with these jazz pros - they are all more accomplished, seasoned and skilled than myself - and I haven't been playing/practicing at all on the road. I trusted that they would be kind - and they were - but I didn't want to blow the music. And I didn't want to disappoint Carlton. Mostly it worked out ok - the jazz men were gracious and helpful - and we all had fun. (I only got totally lost once, ugh!) The blessing of this, however, is clear:  this boy needs to work on his chops!  It was a living encounter with humility and grace both at once.

Tomorrow we head out again for Pittsburgh. We'll lay over in Cincinnati and then trek across Ohio.  Not much space for prayer again, but good, quiet time with my sweetheart.


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