Tonight I am heading into the woods for 3 weeks with no electricity or running water in the mountains of Idaho. I want to outline a few of my hopes and expectations going in, so that when I post my journal entries afterwards I can compare to see if things went as I hoped and expected. Maybe writing them out will also help me to achieve them more intentionally. It’s more of a note to myself than intended for other people to read, so please note you may find it a bit dull.
My vague hope is to simply put experience just a taste of silence. I expect that for at least a week I will have a very hard time living with all of the internal noise that is whirling inside of me at the moment (and has been for most of my life). My hope is that the 2nd week my insides will quiet down a little bit, and I’m really hoping that the third week I will experience an internal quiet or peace that I have not experienced before.
I think that I think God lies somewhere in silence, and that is the way most readily available to me to touch him, to experience him.
I have laid out a very strict schedule for myself in 30 minute blocks for the majority of the day. I worry that my attention will not be able to hold for much longer than 30 minutes at a time on one thing, at least not at first. If I am able to strengthen my attention then I will adjust the blocks so that they last longer than 30 minutes, do a little bit of rearranging.
One of the main tasks I hope to accomplish is the singing of the psalms, once through the psalms every week (more than that actually because some of the songs are repeated daily). I will be following the divine office or liturgy of the hours as laid out by St. Benedict, singing the psalms according to modified Gregorian chant tones to fit the Coverdale translation (the one used in the 1928 prayer book). It may take me a week to get into the swing of following the hours but hopefully by the beginning of week 2 I am settled down into a routine.
I really hope that this is a good experience. I don’t have any particular visions about what that good looks like precisely, I just really hope that it’s good. That I get to experience a rhythm of quiet intentional prayer life.
Anyways, I’m signing off from the whole world now for the next three weeks. Say a prayer for me if you think of it.
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