Usually nobody else had joined me in the little sanctuary yet. I played through the music for the service while others were downstairs having their coffee and talking. I could hear their voices and took a mental roll call for the small Unity church as I played. The door squeaked opened and closed again and I heard everybody welcome the traveling ministers, the Reverends Jill Andrews and Brian Walker.
They greeted the crew downstairs and then I heard them tramping up the steps. I wrapped up the music for the moment. It was time for “praying in,” as Brian and Jill called it. Everybody who would be participating in leading the service gathered in a circle, holding hands, sharing love and energy, and took a few moments to center our hearts and minds and to focus on the art of leading the upcoming service.
Brian, Jill and I have all moved on and gone our separate ways, and though I cherish these memories of joining together, somehow they faded away.
Until the other day. I teach a small music class in a private school. Sometimes we have fun together and get a lot done, but sometimes my students behave as if I’m not even in the room. One particular morning, I wanted to get a lot done: some solid music concepts and introducing the music for the Winter Celebration which was coming up soon. Then it hit me: time to pray in, just like the old days with Jill and Brian. I shook my head a little to clear my mind. Was the voice inside my head crazy??? No, I decided. It was intelligent. What a beautiful idea!
Alone in my classroom, for just a moment, imagining I was holding hands with the Universal Good (Truth), I focused on being kind, listening, and directly addressing my objectives for the day. Then I gave thanks for the moment and for the intelligent voice in my head, took a deep breath and went to get the class.
Afterward, I took a mental inventory of how things went. Did it go exactly the way I’d wanted? Of course not! But it went well. Disruptions were minimal. Students looked over my shoulder at the music and got totally lost. I wouldn’t have planned it that way, but consequently, they were eager to look at the musical notation I offered. They started listening to each other. We got a lot done and everybody was, for the most part, respectful of each other. I came away from the class feeling calm and at peace rather than ragged or frustrated. The students seemed pleased with themselves and their learning. A win-win class.
It didn’t take long for the next thought to hit me: Pray in the New Year!
It isn’t too late (It’s never too late) to join me now and “pray in” the New Year. I’ll be doing it every day. Though I don’t know most of you and we aren’t together physically, won’t you please step into the circle with me and hold my hand as we focus and center our hearts and minds so that we may be leaders in a bright tomorrow? We have so much work to do. Every one of us has our part. Let’s do it together.