But whenever you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret… (Matthew 6:6)
Yeah, the passage itself is about owning where you’re seeking your prayer’s reward—are you looking to God, or the crowd?—but it came to my mind for a totally different reason:
When I pray, I need to be ALONE… and seem to need a door to enforce it!
Today’s case in point:
I came to campus to take some proctored assessments. Drove up early, because Usual Austin Traffic. Once I got here, it was time for my morning routine of portion, meditation, and poem-reading. But where to do them? Car is out for copying scripture. Go into the deserted classroom building? Deserted is good, but my assessment proctoring was to be in the student activities building—I’d drop all my gear only to gather it all up again and walk next door. Student activities building? Less of a movement fuss, but by its very nature it’s not deserted, and certainly not at breakfast-time.
I opted for the student activities building.
Portion-copying is fine, poem-reading is fine, meditation…? You know how I feel about my meditation practice as it is! Still, I decided I would fold in on myself, try to hide my eyes from everything, muffle my ears with my hair… look generally unapproachable as I sat tucked in a corner.
A corner near my friend the Dean of Students’ office. #totalfail
One doesn’t get to be Dean of Students and not be finely attuned to possible human distress… which my posture also looked like. Which meant we had a warm clarifying chat in lieu of my last four minutes of meditation.
Next time I wrestle myself into consenting to silence, I need to close a door.