Shut the Door

It was an exhausting weekend. I’m tired of talking.

Heidi and I spent all day Saturday and part of Sunday at an Engaged Encounter Retreat talking to engaged couples about Christian marriage. And then we immediately went home and finished preparing a class to teach a bunch of junior high kids about Holy Week that night.

That’s a lot of talking. Too much being up in front of people. Too much pretending that words are an adequate way to communicate spiritual truth. I spent too long playing the authority role of teacher.

That’s a very energy-draining role. Henri Nouwen uses this example of an oven whose door is opened too often for it to build up much heat. Such is the case, Nouwen says, of one who speaks often. His “door” is open so much that the “heat” of the spirit does not build up and instead starts to dissipate. Silence then is the remedy from having your “door” (mouth) open too much.

And so I was eagerly anticipating my morning art-meditation of making bad art, albeit with a focused mind and closed mouth. And once at work, I’m pretending I’m on silent retreat, avoiding unnecessary conversation.

(Well, at least I’ll try. I’m a pretty social person, so we’ll see how long my resolve lasts.)

But overall it’s a day to recultivate my focus. Shrink the ego. Talk less. And recoup my spirit.

Have a good, spirit filled Monday.

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