It comes from Henri Nouwen. The other day he sent his daily email (apparently they have computers in heaven) and said:
Our minds are always active. We analyze, reflect, daydream, or dream. There is not a moment during the day or night when we are not thinking. You might say our thinking is "unceasing." Sometimes we wish that we could stop thinking for a while; that would save us from many worries, guilt feelings, and fears. Our ability to think is our greatest gift, but it is also the source of our greatest pain. Do we have to become victims of our unceasing thoughts? No, we can convert our unceasing thinking into unceasing prayer by making our inner monologue into a continuing dialogue with our God, who is the source of all love.
I am one who has taken the practice of 'unceasing thoughts' to Olympic levels. I am the Michael Phelps of unceasing thoughts. I am also one who could benefit from more prayer. Could I actually convert my over thinking into prayer?
I decided to try it out the next time I got myself in that unceasing thought spiral. I was at the YMCA, exercising over the lunch hour. This is an intentional mini-sabbath practice, designed to step away from work for a rest. But pretty quickly I was back into my ponderings about the financial stress that nonprofits like Lumunos are under*.
I went with the Nouwen idea--converting my unceasing thought into prayer. It was a subtle difference, in some ways just talking to God about it rather than myself. I spoke to God about my fears, my hopes, my anxiety. Somehow it helped.
People who talk to God too much can be seen as a bit loopy. I'm not sure I want to be one of those people who walk down the street, speaking to someone or something unseen. Or do I?
*If you would like me to focus on the exercise machine and not the Lumunos budget, click here to contribute.