church, coronavirus, laid off, spirituality, vocation

Things get longer and deeper

Monday May 4, 2020

Furlough: day 22

Stay at home: day 33

Corona: day 105

On Friday of last week the governor extended the Stay-at-home order through May 31st. That’s an additional four weeks to the original end date. I was not surprised by this. he has also outlined in very broad stokes what a gradual re-opening of the state might look like.

I was furloughed for 60 days and that would mean I would be returning to work on June 8th. I had hoped that my furlough might end early. However that hope is now dead. An new fear is now growing in me that I might not get back to work until after June 8th.

I’m not happy at all with this. Still, like everyone else in the state, I will just have to adjust. I accept that the governor’s go-slow approach is a good one in view of the realities of the current situation. That doesn’t mean I like this. Idleness is not good for me. I miss the discipline of work, even work that I don’t particularly love.

However I must admit that this time has led to more interior work on my part. I’ve been tending to my spiritual life in a way that is refreshing. I’ve revived my practice of devotional reading. I’m currently reading a set of little devotions from the writings of St Augustine of Hippo.

early will i seek you.jpg

His words are leading me into a more rigorous practice of what the old Lutheran Pietists would call “secret prayer.” It is a practice of individual prayer designed to draw the Christian deeper into the sanctuary of God’s presence within the soul. I am finding greater peace and joy in this practice.

Still, being a good Anglican and one who set on the via media (the middle way or mediating way), I balance this part of my spirituality that looks inward, with the part of my spirituality that looks outward. While practicing secret prayer I also practice public prayer and worship as part of a community of faith. While strengthening the inner self, I pay attention of the outer self and how I live day by day. While promoting the love within, I express love to those outside of myself.

Thus I can feel my spiritual life changing and growing “in these challenging times.” I wonder where this will lead me? As always, we shall see.