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Beating the Heat while staying Immobile (Jesus Prayer Optional)By Jane Patterson
Our Dean has said: “The Jesus Prayer may be said while immobile.”
Anyone who has studied the Prayer Book knows the difference between a permissive rubric and a strict rubric. The Jesus Prayer may – or may not – be said while immobile. The important thing in the summer in Austin is to remain immobile some of the time. The Jesus Prayer is optional. Other things you could do while immobile: someone could bring you a Shiner in a CamelBak, so you could suck your favorite cold beverage through a straw, without moving. Icees work, too. Just lie there and let someone bring it to you. Mmmmm.
Alternatively, you could do Centering Prayer while immobile (and no one would know whether or not you were really praying or…asleep).
You could go over all the things you know by heart – the Eucharistic Prayer, the Lord’s Prayer, the phone number your family had when you were a child, your best friend’s phone number, the times tables…okay, now you’re asleep again. That’s not keeping to the rules of the game.
The best place to be immobile is either in front of a window air conditioning unit or on a porch. But really the front porch is the place to be. That way, even though you’re immobile, you can hear your neighborhood in action: kids on a slip ‘n slide, someone watering a garden, hawks and bluejays and doves and cardinals making a racket, the ice cream truck…. Did someone say “Ice Cream Truck”? Time to get up! Get your wallet! Ice Cream! Ice Cream!
Jane Patterson (@JaneLPatterson1) served on the Adjunct Faculty since 2010 and was appointed assistant professor of New Testament beginning June 1, 2013. In the Master of Divinity program, she teaches courses in Bible and Spiritual Formation; in the Center for Christian Ministry and Vocation, she teaches a course on the Bible as a resource for pastoral caregivers. Outside the seminary, she is co-director of a ministry called The WorkShop that guides laity in the use of the scriptures for discerning how to live faithfully in all aspects of daily life.
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