Out of Rhythm: Seriously Benedict?

How do the benedictine’s do it? They wake, sleep, eat, pray, work… and pretty much everything else to a schedule. Life doesn’t seem to interfere.

Ok, fessing up: I’ve never spent time at a benedictine monastery, not for lack of trying but lack of time. Reading Benedict has been a source of encouragement and a way of processing through my own self scheduling dilemmas, and yet I still find myself frustrated and less disciplined than I would like.

It’s gotten to the point that I want to give up.

Socially, I think I could manage it. Even with work and family life as chaotic as they can get, my wife is beyond accommodating – actually I think she deserves a medal or two. With her help and the partners I have ini ministry and swimming, I’m pretty confident that ordering a life around a rule would be possible. A rule with a touch of flexibility in it, but a rule that accounts even for that flexibility.

Not sure who I would choose as my superior, but that aside, ordering my life if it were a matter of social cocerns and obligations – time in prayer, study, friendship, service worked in beautifully.

No my problem isn’t with any of that.

And I know that if I could figure out the right paradigm, it would be very peaceful and would allow a sort of simplicity from which I could answer when God asks me to do something.

My problem simply put: My body doesn’t listen.

I mean even when the girls get sick, I can work around it.

But what that means is that I haven’t really found a good rhythm for the past two months. That’s two months with nothing more than short runs and only a few days back in the water today, that means very little time spent working though some of the articles that I want to write or you know writing at all. But slowly I’m getting back on track.

Maybe that’s what all that structure really helps with, getting back on track even when you fall off the wagon colossally. Maybe that’s the grace you can find in such a structure. Benedict or Wesley or Jakob Spener… they found ways to experience the grace of God in discipline.

On the other hand, I could just go with the less structured Jesuits…

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About Sean Smith

Husband, Father, Pastor, Swimmer, Writer, Reader, and attempted Adventurer!
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