Wednesday, September 7, 2005

A little practical mysticism

I read Frank Laubach's The Game With Minutes (PDF) this morning. It is a nice set of practices for remembering God at various points in your day, working towards the idea of praying without ceasing. The basic game is really just trying to remember God, or bring God to mind, at least minute of an hour. For an hour's time, you might score yourself to see in how many of those minutes you actually managed to remember God.

In addition to the basic game, Frank Laubach also provides other suggestions for remembering God. One struck a chord with me, which is that he says a little prayer for people when he is on a train or in a crowd. When I remember to, I try to hold other drivers in the Light briefly as I am driving. I find that it makes me a much calmer, more courteous driver, and I don't get as upset over other people's rudeness. I think that either praying for other people or holding them in the Light can be more helpful than the Jesus Prayer because it is more of an outreach to others. You are simultaneously practicing the two great commandments to love the Lord with all your heart, mind and soul and to love your neighbor as yourself.

I was also trying to come up with ways to remember God while at work. I'm a computer programmer, and I have to do quite a lot of thinking. Today I tried to think of God when I hit the "Enter" key on my keyboard - as in "ENTER into God's presence" or "RETURN to God". I can't say that I remembered all that often, but I hope to do better.

Frank Laubach also wrote Letters By a Modern Mystic.

The PDF of "The Game With Minutes" is incomplete. This PDF includes The Game with Minutes among some other works and has the complete version.

Update #2 (11/14/2006)
Peter Schott has pointed out that The Power of the Holy Spirit (Volume III) contains a more complete copy of the Game With Minutes. Thanks, Peter!


  1. This post reminds me of two different snippets I read at two different times in my life.

    The first was about the seemingly idiosyncratic practice that Buddhists had while working in an American company. If I remember right, every time the phone would ring, these worshipers would stop what they were doing and pray.

    The second reflection is from Thomas Kelly's Testament of Devotion. I don't have the exact quote, but it occurs to me that he wrote about gently bringing himself back to worship, back to God, always to begin and to begin again....

    ...which is so much easier to do when we are gentle with ourselves instead of scolding and berating ourselves!

    Liz, The Good Raised Up

  2. I just downloaded Laubach's "The Game with Minutes - PDF" from your link, but it is not complete. It ends with the phrase "as Jesus certainly...", from the heading "MEN AT WORK". Can you help me get the rest of the article? I am saving this article as part of my collection. This idea of living in the presence of God every moment of our lives as Laubach proposed is the best that we can hope and do here on earth, if we can put it into practice.

  3. Peter,
    Thanks very much for providing that link. I have added it to the end of the post. There was a time when I wasn't very comfortable using Jesus as an image either, but that has changed. I think we make better progress by not pushing ourselves towards something that we are not comfortable with, but by letting go and letting God change us.
    With love,

  4. Hi Anj,
    No, I have not read "Practicing the Presence of People". I am in the middle of reading Richard Foster's "Celebration of Discipline". His chapter on prayer stresses the importance of intercessory prayer (i.e. holding people in the light) as well as trying to get to the point of praying without ceasing.

    It is funny how this thread has become alive again, the original post is over a year old!
    With love,

  5. The precious little book can be downloaded here (under #7)

  6. I know what you mean about being uncomfortable about pictures Peter. I never let myself be photographed and I rip up any pictures of my loved ones, lest I'd be an idolator.