Some days I am more thankful for being an Orthodox Christian than others. This morning I was more thankful. I was thankful that I didn’t have to create the words for my prayers. My mind was hard to control this morning. Thoughts were leading me this way and that. Nothing particularly evil. Just a constant barrage of strong impressions, ideas, thoughts, and moments of disconnected pseudo insight. (By pseudo insight I mean thoughts that have just enough promise of profundity to keep my mind off what I am doing, and that soon fizzle out with nothing left but the temptation to try another line of inquire in the thin hope that by wasting just a little more mental energy I will actually find something to justify the complete absence in my mind of the psalm I just read out loud.)
But that is pretty much the secret. Keep reading out loud. Keep saying the prayers. Sooner or later the wind dies down and the part of your mind that has been fluttering in the breeze like a loose tarp can be tied down and attention returns to the present, to the prayers, to the still, small voice that is not in the fire or in the storm.
I’m thankful that I do not have to figure it all out. I can enter into a tradition that thousands of men and women much more spiritually capable than I have found works.