Sunday, October 26, 2014

Where Do We Go From Here?

It's been a week since I started the sabbatical (see "Hey Babe: Take a Walk on the Quiet Side"). I figured I'd provide a few observations, and ask a small favor from you. I have a wonderful wife, where many of the observations come through conversations with her. She IS the source for most in my life. As I write this, it is currently 16:45 on a Sunday. Our cat, Harley, is acting extra mischievous and finicky. My wife figured out it was after 16:00 and he was desiring his afternoon snack - something I'm prone to overlook. She is gifted, I tell ya!

She reminded me of something I've asked her in the past when it came to Lent. Most people who observe Lent, do that by giving up something - hopefully of value to them. For me, giving up Brussels sprouts would be the perfect option, except for the fact that I won't eat them at any time (Yick!). My question is not what one is giving up, but with what is one replacing that thing? The replacement is supposed to help provide focus during this season. For instance: give up video games and provide care for an elderly neighbor. So she wanted to know, since I've "given up church", with what am I replacing it?

(Side note: I wrote an email to the couple who have been leading the worship team for the last year so that they would know what was going on - I really don't know who actually reads this blog! In the email I stated that I was taking a sabbatical from "intellectual Christianity". I think that best sums it up.)

I told her that the observation of Lent was based on religious practice. Most people will only do such an act during the Lenten season. Once it is over, they're done. I did not approach this sabbatical based on a religious practice. Actually, this is more of a pressure release valve. I needed to walk away before I found myself in a more precarious position in my faith.

She then asked me how I will know when/if this sabbatical will be over.

I told her that it would probably be similar to how I knew to take the sabbatical. This was a slow build up over time. I knew when it was time to start. I'm figuring that it will end in a similar fashion.

I purchased a bite guard about a month ago. It's a small device that keeps your teeth from grinding together at night. I decided to purchase one because I found that when I woke up in the morning, I wasn't able to bite down - put my teeth together - without extreme pain. As I mentioned in "Pleased to Meet You, Hope You Guess My Name", grinding my teeth will culminate in severe headaches that wake me up at night. My wife noticed that once I came to this decision concerning the sabbatical, I haven't used the bite guard. This has apparently been a source of stress - stress that manifests itself in the grinding of my teeth. Another sign that this has been a good decision.

Which brings me back to her last/first question: Since I'm not going to be attending church for now, with what am I going to replace it?

I told her the one thing that I'm going to miss the most during this sabbatical is worship. I'm an advocate of, but a terrible representation of, private worship. I need to keep that focus in my life. My wife wants to support me in this, and suggested going somewhere on Sundays to remove distractions and meditate. That's one method.

The other method brings me to the favor. We have a large music library. So large, that there is no way we could actually listen to it all over the course of a year (you know, during times of consciousness). I listen to little-to-no radio because of it. Here's the kicker: the majority of that collection came from referrals. And that's where I need you. Our collection is quite weak when it comes to "worship" music. We have quite a bit of "Christian" music, but most does not bring one into a state of focus upon God (you know, "worship").

Would you take a moment and provide me music that you find helps you focus on God? I'm looking for artist names, song titles, and even whole CD titles (yeah, I still purchase physical media!). This request is not just for those Christian friends of mine. If there is music that you find brings you into a meditative state, that helps you focus on the "other", the less-about-you, I would love to know that too.

You can let me know easiest as a response to this blog in Facebook or Twitter (Twitter is the best - @nocturnecsh). Or, if you already have my email address, please feel free to drop me an email. I'm hoping to do some shopping soon, so your help is greatly appreciated.

So in answer to the title of this blog ("Where Do We Go From Here?" - taken from the Alan Parson's song, "Games People Play"), I think that a stepping away from the "intellectual", and a stepping toward solitude and devoted worship is where I'm headed.

© Emittravel 2014


  1. 'The 99 Most Essential Gregorian Chants', '50 Most Essential Gregorian Chants',' Benedictine Abbey Choir Of Munsterschwarzach, Benedictine Monks of Santo Domingo de Silos & Cappella Musicale del Duomo di Milano', ' Chants, Benedictine Monks, Voices of Angels, Angelic Music and Ethereal Music for Relaxation Meditation, Spa Music and Healing Massage, Sacred Music and Relaxing Ambient Music for Concentration'.

    1. Thanks, Mark. Looks like I have my shopping cut out for me!