Friday, December 31, 2010

Prayer and The Wall

Do you ever wonder if your actually communicating a thought, feeling or need beyond your own consciousness? Do you ever consider whether the manner of speaking is often confused with prayer? Praying for discernment the ability to know, to sense, to understand the distinction between talking essentially to oneself and  addressing God. I wonder whether we are all somehow play acting looking on at ourselves posturing the prayer the inquiring the petitions.

Sorting through this inauthenticity even within the closet of our hearts is difficult. I find the most real moments I've had was when I run  marathons; any mile after 20. It gets real and all self conscious pretentiousness is washed away. With each mile with each step there is a peeling away of the facade, the personas; in the end you are simply the person who is searching for strength, direction,  for an internal connection. By moving forward in an fundamentally human way through introspection, upright on two legs and in forward motion we are unique from all other creation.  This is very much an act of faith especially the first time you complete a full marathon. The next time it is about the determination to revisit such escasty and finish again in spite of the pain. Then each subsequent time you subject yourself to the daunting task it is to revisit that place where you are authentically moving through and into an honest space. The fatigue or the wall as it had been called is very telling. You pass through the permeable boundary of the wall of egotism where you leave behind perhaps only through desperation or exhaustion to find who you are really.

Have we become incapable of true honesty? We are perhaps in some ways sincerely desperate but what about honest? When we are ill and pray in the stillness of the night, privately begging cloaked in the darkness are we actually praying then? When we 'feel' connected or heard is that we have reached our own conclusion of apathy or acceptance or is it simply a healthy does of cognitive dissonance. 

 Prayer must be more then a muttering to oneself. This of course doesn't prohibit God from continuing to reach out to us but it also doesn't mean that we are getting any of it right. The beauty and perfection of the Orthodox Church is how it accommodates us understanding we are unpracticed and clueless as to what to actually do. It has established the essentials Confession, Communion the Liturgy to bring us all along. Like good fishers of men they cast these spiritual nets by which to catch us all.

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