Field Notes From A Prayer Warrior

Practice, practice, practice…

Old joke:

A fellow goes to New York to attend a concert, but gets lost. He spots another fellow who’s carrying a violin case. “Sir, can you tell me how to get to Carnegie Hall?” The musician smiles and says, “Practice, practice, practice.”

-Source unknown

Prayer is a lot like yoga.

Some days you are super focused, full of energy, enthusiastic, everything flows.

Some days your mind is all over the place, you have trouble with the poses, there’s discomfort, you’re impatient (“I’ve been doing this for so long, I should be able to twist my body into a pretzel shape by now!”). You beat yourself up. You get frustrated…and then you kind of lose the essential meaning and joy behind it.

Some days you just don’t want to do it. You make yourself, force yourself, like it’s a must-do, a to-do, a routine. It gets done, but, well, you don’t feel good about it, before, during, or after…and it shows.

Some days you consider just hanging it up, walking away, maybe even permanently. But then you gently push through and just begin. You start feeling better as you get further into the practice and at the end there is a quiet, triumphal joy. Often these sessions are the most beneficial and satisfying…you achieved mastery over the struggle.

No matter the practice…be kind to yourself, be patient, and press on.

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