One of the spiritual practices that I’ve found really helpful is doing a daily rhythm or daily office. I guess I identify with it because I so strongly identify faith as a rhythm of life.
For me, organizing my day is sometimes difficult. (I’m not organized) But if I slate in a variety of activities for different time periods it helps me get things done and stay fresh in the process. Yes, there are days where I benefit from focusing on one task all day but life and work seldom give me full days so practicing a rhythm helps.
In the last year, I spent a number of months driving a daily school bus route. It was stressful, fun, tiring, refreshing, but actually very helpful with creating a daily rhythm of spiritual practice. I drove students ranging from jr. kindergarten to those about to graduate high school — they were great! Sure some days I had discipline issues to deal with but they really were a great bunch.
Let me walk you through my school bus day:
6:30 – Wake up (least favourite part of the day)
7:00 – Arrive at my bus and start my 125 point walk around checks -while doing my checks of mechanical and safety items I would pray for my bus, my route, the drivers around me and the children I’d be transporting. Actually one of the cool things about where my bus was parked is that every morning I watched the sun rise behind the cross at the local Catholic school! A reminder of Jesus every day. (you can barely see it on the right side, it looks closer in real life)
7:15 – Checks are done and I do my paperwork for the day
7:20 – start my route, it took around 1/2 an hour to get to my first stop -singing some worship songs to centre myself on Christ throughout my day, then praying en route for my day, my relationship with God, people who were on my prayer list
7:30 to 8:45 – picking up children and delivering them to school
8:45 – returning to the lot -praying again for various things
9:10 – back at home -doing regular quiet time, Morning Prayer from the Daily Office in my Celtic Prayer book. Launch into my other work in my home office
12 noon – Mid day Prayer from Daily Office in Celtic Prayer book
3:00 – my afternoon run, 10 minutes or less to prepare bus (125 point checks are done only in morning) -pray for my students, for the drivers around me, safety, myself to drive to glorify God (literally saying, “I drive this bus for God’s glory, help me God to glorify You in my driving and the way I treat other drivers”) and for other prayer concerns as I head to two or three schools to pick up students.
4:10 – students all dropped off, heading back to the lot and then home.
The thing about driving a school bus is that it lends itself to a rhythm – you spend time doing bus checks, then you drive, then you’re done until later in the day. It set break points in my day that made it easy to slot in times of prayer.
Is there a natural flow to your day where you could slot in prayer, or worship or reflection?
This is just an example from one job. Maybe your day isn’t as broken up as mine was. But could you structure for time with God — listening, praying, worshiping, meditating, Bible reading?
Think of it like a rhythm and it can help you to get your work done and to set aside time for God time throughout your day!