Sunday, July 28, 2013

The Novelty of Prayer

Recently I was reading AJ Jacob's book "A Year of Living Biblically" - the premise of his book is worthy of reflection for most educators who want to explore religious experiential learning.  I wanted to share the following excerpt for it's honesty and relevance:
Day 169. I've taken a step backward again, spiritually speaking. My faith is fragile. Little things jolt me back to pure agnosticism. All that talk of red heifers and pigeons - that did it.  As will a story about a suicide bomber, which reminds me of religion's dark side.  Or even a quote like the one from the philosopher interviews in the New York Times, in which he said that ethical monotheism is the single worst idea that humans have come up with. 
If my spiritually could be charted like the NASDAQ, the general trend so far is a gradual rise, but there are many valleys, and I'm in a deep one now.  It's making me lazy.  I forget to put on my fringes, and I tell myself, well, what's the big deal? I'll put them on tomorrow.   
I'm still praying several times a day, but when I do, I'm sying the words with as much feeling as I give to a Taco Bell drive-through order. I often think of this verse in Isaiah where he lashes out against the Israelite hypocrites: 
             Because this people draw near with their mouth
             and honor me with their lips,
             while their hearts are far from me,
             and their fear of me is a commandment of men learned by rote. 
That describes me right now.  
I even find myself being skeptical of those times when my heart was near to God in the last few months. Perhaps it was an illusion.  If I prayed to Apollo every day, would I start to feel a connection to Apollo?  And what if I'm drawn to spirituality simply because I'm bored of the dry, dusty, rational mind-sey that I've had these many years? I get bored easily.  I can't sit through a sequel to a movie because I'm already tired of the characters. Maybe spirituality attracts me for it novelty factor. 

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