From Rev. Claire: Wake Up!

Dear Follen,

This month’s theme is not just a word; it is an imperative! “Wake Up!” What does that mean to me?

Well, I was inspired first by Easter, which is early this year, March 27. The Easter story is one of waking up from darkness and death into world full of love and miracles.

What are the places in our lives where we can wake up? How can we avoid sleep-walking through life? Here is one story of bringing from Rev. Scott Tayler:

“I have a friend who was raised Muslim but has drifted away from participation in a mosque. He avoids any distinctive Muslim dress and says he forgets most of the observances. Except one: Salah. The practice of praying five times a day—at five specific and regular times of the day. Not only does he remember this practice, he observes it.

‘Religiously,’ he jokes. ‘The aim of the five prayers,’ he explains, ‘is to force you to remember God’s will—to interrupt your day at crucial moments so that you can bring an awareness of God’s glory into your life.’

Now here’s the catch: my friend does not believe in God. But he says he does believe in ‘the glory of life’ and he does want that to regularly ‘break into’ the daily grind of his day. So he sets the alarm on his cell phone for five specific times of the day, stops what he is doing when the alarm goes off and then ‘prays’—which for him means intentionally looking around and listening—to what’s inside as well as outside.”

Our spiritual exercise this month is to do the same for a week. Wake up…several times a day! Set your watch or cell phone alarm to go off 1-5 times a day, every day, at the same times. Be “religious” about it: when it goes off, find some way in that moment to be present. It can mean stopping and going to a private space to pray or meditate—as Salah has most devout Muslims do. Or it can simply mean continuing what you are doing, but with greater attention and intention. Figure out what works for and feels best to you. Share with me and the Follen community what was hard about this practice, what was surprising, and what you learned.

Got to go—I think I hear my alarm!


Rev. Claire