Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Thursday, January 12, 2017
Meditate, Pray, Be Present.
“The quality of our presence is the most positive element that we can contribute to the world.” 
Rushing around and trying to get things done can be counterproductive. If I am striving to rush-rush, hurry-hurry, all the time, I can’t possibly pay full attention to what is right in front of my nose.
I’ve watched people scurry around, like chickens with their heads cut off. People have various motivations. (Money is a powerful motivator. And often, quite necessary. But, that necessary?)
Power and control are two more familiar motivators. Oh, so familiar! And, who wouldn’t want to put “accomplishment!” down as yet another motivator of activities? Of purpose? Of
Even worthy, spiritual people who meditate and pray regularly can be off-kilter in their motivation. As our author says, even super-spiritual people can get off track and act like a person who doesn’t know the first thing about being spiritual. Or meditation. Or prayer.
I know something about the quality of presence. I’ve experienced it. I’ve learned a great deal from chaplain work. There in my interactions, sometimes, I desperately needed to center myself and rely on presence. Less-anxious presence. And, people expressed their gratitude and thanks, if not to me, then in letters sent to the pastoral care department.
The ministry of presence is also useful—sensible—needful—in my current position, as a small church’s pastor. Also, in the other parts of my life. I owe a great deal of thanks to the people in my life who staffed those hospitals and care centers, as well as those who added to my practice in developing the Ministry of Presence. Even though sometimes, it can be difficult, and challenging. Even well nigh impossible.
Thanks to them all. And most of all, thanks to God. Alleluia!
Like what you read? Disagree? Share your thoughts with your loved ones and continue the conversation.
 How to Sit, Thich Nhat Hanh. (Berkeley, California: Parallax Press, 2014), 25.