A Thousand Tiny Shocks to Our Soul

Brandon Booth
Brandon Booth
September 21, 2021

The little sounds of my kids fighting while I'm trying to be silent. The 24-hour news cycle, all my music and podcasts, binge watching a dumb show. Billboards, internet ads, political posts. Everyday, nearly every minute, the world delivers a thousand tiny shocks of emotion. 

How can I ever “still my soul like a weaned child with its mother”?

The art of contemplative prayer is the art of stealing time. Rather than “finding” time for prayer (as if anything is a higher priority than practicing the presence of God) take time for prayer. Take it with vengeance, like you’re grabbing out of the hands of the devil!

Admittedly this takes effort. Like practicing anything, it takes lots of work upfront to establish the habit, but it’s worth it in the long run. Prayer is like drinking water. If I don’t have time to pause and take a drink it won’t be long before I have no time at all (‘cause I’ll be dead!)

Practical tips, I can try:

  1. Keep the car silent. No radio, no podcasts, no music. Use the drive time to simply be with God.
  2. Turn off my phone notifications (even the ones I think are essential). Do I really need to know every time someone posts something? Do I really need to get a buzz from every email? I can check my notifications when I want, and this puts me in control of my phone rather than the other way around.
  3. Read the news and social media once a day, but NOT first thing in the morning! 
  4. Stake out a prayer chair. Creating a prayer space is a powerful way to encourage the calm and quiet I crave. 
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