I always have the option of checking out, of course. I can check my email on my phone. I can get lost in the cocktail party in my mind or peruse my mental curio cabinet of worries. I can start thinking about when I’ll grade papers, how I’ll write about this experience later today, or how I’ll lead next week’s online intensive class. There’s a time for that kind of planning, to be sure, and when that time comes, I hope I will give the work my fullest attention. But now is not that time. Right now the call is to return to the present, where the gift of summer is unfolding before me, where God’s Spirit is gently blowing, where my own life is being lived.
—L. Roger Owens, Everyday Contemplative: The Way of Prayerful Living (Upper Room Books, 2022)
What do you need to put aside in order to give your fullest attention to the present?
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Eli said to Samuel, “Go, lie down; and if he calls you, you shall say, ‘Speak, LORD, for your servant is listening.’” So Samuel went and lay down in his place.
—1 Samuel 3:9 (NRSV)
Prayer for the Week
Nurturing God, tend our lives like a patient gardener. May our desire for you grow as your grace works the soil of our lives. Amen. Submit your prayer to The Upper Room.
The Upper Room will host a free live webinar on Tuesday, February 15, 2022, from 6:00-7:00 p.m. (CST) to introduce our Lenten offerings—a new book, Unrevealed Until Its Season, and its accompanying eCourse, Listening Through Lent. Join the conversation with author Rev. Dr. James C. Howell and Publisher Rev. Kimberly Orr as they talk about music, life, and Lent. Register here.
(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)
Looking for lectionary-based resources? Learn more about The Upper Room Disciplines.