FINDING PEACE IN THE MESS by Rector Chris Girata
FINDING PEACE IN THE MESS was published in the Katy Trail Weekly, "The Good Word" Column, October 9, 2020
Chris Girata is the Rector of Saint Michael and All Angels Episcopal Church in Dallas, TX.
When I checked in with her, I asked her how she was doing and made it clear I really meant it. I wanted to check in with her more deeply than the passing, shallow, “all’s good” people often share. She paused a moment and said, very authentically, that she was actually doing well because for the first time in her professional life because she was working in an environment where she got to pray every day with her coworkers.
Prayer is important... most importantly as a way to center yourself and to ground yourself in a spiritual sense.
Prayer, such a simple idea, but one that has made all the difference for my friend. Prayer is something I take for granted, given I do what I do, but prayer is something powerful that many people don’t get to share with their coworkers. I imagine the vast majority of you reading this do not gather regularly with your colleagues and pray. I might even venture to say that the majority of you don’t even pray regularly on your own.
Now before you jump to any conclusions or check out of this column, let me make myself clear. Prayer is important, and not simply as a function of religion, but most importantly as a way to center yourself and to ground yourself in a spiritual sense. Prayer is an opportunity for each of us to acknowledge that there is more to life than what we see with our eyes. We can use moments of prayer to anchor ourselves in a deeper truth than what our world offers.
Prayer is time spent focusing beyond yourself, calming your spirit and finding quiet that can get lost in the noise of the world.
Let’s have a moment of real talk: Life is hard. This pandemic is hard, addressing social change is hard, anticipating the coming election is hard and on and on. The weight of our world seems to be piling up on our shoulders and pulling down our psyches each day, which makes prayer all the more important.
I admit that prayer is not comfortable for most people, if for no other reason that we don’t think we’re “good” at it. Please let me dispel the notion that you need to be good at praying for good things to happen. Not true at all. Prayer is time spent focusing beyond yourself, calming your spirit and finding quiet that can get lost in the noise of the world.
So today, my friends, I’m encouraging you to find a way to pray each day. If you are a religious person like me, then get in touch with your tradition and begin to practice praying. If you’re not a religious person, but identify as spiritual or spiritually curious, then start reading or Googling or whatever you can do to identify prayer-like practices that can help you center yourself over these next weeks and months.
We all need to find some peace in our messy lives right now, so get to searching for the peace you deserve. Yes, prayer will take some practice, but believe me, you’re worth the effort.
"The Good Word" Column is published bi-weekly, and can be picked up at the Saint Michael South Entrance.
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