Sunday, April 02, 2006


As a centering tool in meeting I often use a simple song (Taize/contemplative style) that repeats a prayer or thought to keep me on track and focused (kind of like a word that you come back to in contemplative prayer). The one I usually use is a song that goes, "Shepherd me, O God, beyond my wants, beyond my fears, from death into life," except I change "shepherd" to "center." (It's by John Michael Talbot.) It's become kind of my "mantra" when centering and helps me to come back into a centered space more quickly. It's almost like my own personal liturgy, a natural part of the way I remind myself that my purpose of focusing on God and letting all my own fears and wants fall away.

This is so helpful for me, because it brings continuity between my times of silence on my own and my times of waiting with others. Also it helps me fall into a rhythm that is natural. It pulls me more quickly into a space of depth--not that we should just be all about doing everything fast, but I think it does show something about the space I'm in spiritually when I can center more or less quickly. When I'm more centered in general, when I'm paying attention to God in everyday life and spending time with God on my own, I can center faster. But when I am more scattered and not paying attention in my "normal" life it takes longer to get centered in meeting.

So for me having a simple prayer (in this case a prayer song) helps me to continue that rhythm of centeredness in my everyday life as well as in times of intentional centering, and even in my times of intentional blogging. =)

Center me, O God, beyond my wants, beyond my fears, from death into life.

(Check out my friend Nate Macy's version of this song, that my husband recorded for him a couple years ago, named "Psalm 23.")

1 comment:

Ian said...

I just read your first, or should I say "last" post. Nice blog. It seems like a lifetime ago that I spent my times alone listening to John Michael Talbot - exploring in my calmness what the Lord might be trying to say to me, if anything. It was always amazing to me how quiet I felt at times. It sounds a bit like what you describe as "centering." Not sure if it's the same, but it sounded similar. At any rate, I'll be reading a bit more of what you have to say. And who knows...maybe I'll have more to say and/or ask about what you've described here in terms of bringing continuity to your life.
All the best,