Well, this was it: the last full day of observing my five (technically four, since the Sabbath is over) practices from The Year of Living Biblically. It both started and ended on a good note and, though there were some dips throughout the day, I think I can call this day blessed. In any case, I will thank the Lord both for it and for the fact that I survived through it (any day I manage to do that without somehow accidentally walking off a cliff is a miracle).
Like yesterday, I managed to follow all of my practices pretty successfully. I did not do as well at saying thanks after meals, but I did remember to do so, even if that happened a few hours after the meal actually occurred. I did not eat any meat, let alone pork, today, so two of my requirements were fulfilled in one go. Finally, there were, as always, a few slips of the Divine Name, but they were as few in number as yesterday. I even sang a lot of the Requiem in choir again and participated in night prayer this evening. These were when most of the slips occurred, but they were pretty few and far between. And I managed to keep a mini-Sabbath and allow myself a few minutes of rest this evening, too.
I am not sure what to take away from this day that I have not observed already in the past days of this experience. I suppose one lesson, one that has been presented to me throughout my life, is that I need to share what I’m doing and what I’m feeling more with others. Sure, I’m writing about this whole assignment here, but 1) there are not hundreds or even dozens of people reading this and 2) I don’t talk about my feelings much in general with anyone, whether in person, through text or social media, or otherwise. I didn’t even have this blog before October of last year, when I had to start it for a philosophy assignment. I have always felt that expressing my joys and sorrows – and basically the details of my life in general – to be a burden to other people, something they don’t need to hear and that I don’t need to tell them. I have the Divine after all, right?
Though I know that there are certain, probably many, things that we keep in the silence of our hearts with the Lord, I now also realize that there are certain, probably many, things that we need to share with others in order to more fully understand them, accept them, and grow from them. Jacobs certainly had a lot of interior thoughts, many more than he even wrote down in his book, as he went through his year of biblical living. At the same time, he had a slew of people to whom he went with his questions, doubts, frustrations, pleasures, and heights of his experience. This spiritual advisory board is mentioned frequently in the book, and they’re not the only ones to whom Jacobs shared his feelings. He had his wife and, in a sense, his son, as well as the people he visited in different parts of the country throughout the year. They all listened and helped, in some way.
Comparing myself with Jacobs is not an attempt to evoke sympathy or complain about my life. Rather, it’s a challenge to myself to open up to other people, because I think there are at least of few of my friends and family members who would like to know more about me. It’s just a matter of stopping or ignoring those voices telling me that my experiences are meaningless or annoying and, when appropriate, sharing these experiences with people who are close to me so that they can help me – so that the Divine, through them, can help me.
It seems like writing served and serves as a valuable means of self-reflection, self-expression, and personal growth for Jacobs, and I think the same applies to me. Looking at my praxis journals now and in the future will help me remember what happened over this week (and in the half-day tomorrow), how I felt about it all, and what I determined I did or should learn. I hope and I pray that I do keep the lessons from this experience in mind and more fully internalize and learn from them in the future. I hope and I pray that I change, more than I already change each day, change in a (mostly, at least) positive direction like Jacobs at the end of his year. I hope and I pray, and (hopefully, prayerfully) I act.
Apparently I took away something from this day, after all, and had a lot to say on it, to boot. I hope tonight’s ramblings were not too incoherent or dull for you, reader. Thanks for keeping vigil with me and my experience. May the Lord keep vigil with us and with all people each day, and may the Divine Unity bless us through the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen. Alleluia. ~
P.S. Stay tuned for my last praxis journal tomorrow! Let’s hope it goes swimmingly!