Every Lent I make a concerted effort to read some spiritual articles, pamphlets, and books, and this Lent has been no different. But, what has been different this year, is that there seems to be an overarching theme within all the pamphlets, articles, magazines, and books that I’ve been reading. They all have something to say about prayers and praying. Some have ideas that I just can’t wrap my mind around, or ones that I know I would never be comfortable doing, or ones that I can’t imagine being able to do on a consistent basis. Others have offered good insight in developing a healthy spiritual life and others have covered the practical aspects of prayer.
But the best spiritual advice came about during Spring break. I went to visit my mother and other family members as I usually do during our break and it was there that I had an enlightening moment about prayer. It came about this way:
I was sitting in my mother’s kitchen reading her newspaper when my 82 year old mom came into the room zipping up a fleece vest and pulling out gloves from her pockets. I asked where she was going. Did I miss some plan for the day? She replied that she was going down into the basement and was there anyone that I wanted her to pray for. Now I was confused. Why would she need fleece and gloves to go into the basement and why was she asking about prayers? I must have had a puzzled look on my face because she said she was going to walk on the treadmill in the basement and it is cold down there so she likes to wear gloves and fleece. Okay, I get that, but what about the prayer part? She said as she walks she prays for people since she is able to concentrate just on prayer as she walks. She smiled and said it was a very soothing way to get exercise and prayer is always good whatever you’re doing.
So, I realized as my mom headed to the stairs, that I didn’t necessarily need to be reading all those books. I just needed to observe my mom and ask her advice on how to grow spiritually during Lent and the rest of the year. It didn’t need to be some fancy new way of praying or reading some great religious tome. It was much simpler than that. So break out those walking shoes, jump on the treadmill or step outside and begin walking and praying. It really can change how you look at your prayer life. Mother really does know best.
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