Category Archives: Daily Practice

The Power of the Act

Abraham Joshua Heschel said, “The act teaches you the meaning of the act.” This is pure wisdom, but we have mostly counseled its reverse. We have tried to teach people the meaning first to see if we might coax them into the act. If we taught people to believe that God calls us to love…

Day Number 21,328

“So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.” -Psalm 90:12 I have done the math, and the number of my days since birth is 21, 328. (It’s easy: go to numbermydays.com and enter your birthday.) I don’t suggest you take the Psalm literally, but it’s not a bad…

God is Not Urgent

About now, many of us are looking at our New Year’s resolutions and wondering what happened to our resolve. I don’t care much for resolutions, since they are mostly attempts to arm-wrestle small problems into submission without having to look plainly at one’s life. I like “priorities” instead of “resolutions.” Which reminds me immediately of…

Clock or Compass?

We live by the clock. Running as fast as we can, trying to cram in one more thing. We vie with each other for the distinction of being the “busiest.” In his book First Things First, Stephen Covey suggests a different orientation. We ought to live not by the clock but by the compass, finding…

Tired of All the Noise?

We expect monks and mystics to tell us how important silence is. Gordon Hempton is neither of those. He is an acoustic ecologist, someone who studies the sound of the natural world and seeks to preserve it. In his book, One Square Inch of Silence, Hempton says there are less than a dozen places left…