I walk across the parking lot and my spiritual director greets me with a hug at the door. We exchange small talk as we enter the quiet chapel and arrange two chairs under the skylight. We sit, and she invites me to close my eyes and mentally set aside the business of the day.
At the end, we sit in silence for a few more minutes, and then she invites me to offer a prayer. In silence, my stumbling brain tries to write and edit a prayer. Oh well, just say something. It comes out all right.
Through this hour of quiet meditation, reflection and prayer, I gain strength. I gain in compassion. I gain in love.
And I am changing; I have glimpses of a different way of looking at the world. A prayer does not need to be offered to a God that I am not sure exists. The word “God” can embrace all the love and wonder and mystery in the universe that we live in. My life’s journey does not need to be defined by the goals at the end but by the moments of grace along the way.
We make an appointment for next month, put our chairs back in their rows, walk to the parking lot and say goodbye. I drive off, back into the human race and the swirl of daily life, but with a stronger resolve to be fully present and make the most of the journey.
The writer is president of First Unitarian Universalist Society of Albany (NY).