...self care is never a selfish act- it is simply good stewardship of the only gift I have, the gift I was put on earth to offer to others. Anytime we can listen to true self and give it the care it requires, we do so not only for ourselves but for the many others whose lives we touch.

Parker J. Palmer, Let Your Life Speak

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Ipod Idolatry

Although there is probably something good to be said for the availability of music, sermons, information, and studies on our Ipods, we will still receive less from them if we are trying to engage in another activity. And the other activities will probably suffer as well.

For example, a recent article on Ipod Spirituality in the September '08 Presence magazine, suggested that "continuous partial attention" can seriously hinder, not assist, with prayer. If prayer is about attending to God, then music as background can easily make concentrating too difficult. Seriously, it's hard enough for me to pray because I bring too many of my own inner and physical distractions to prayer.

I never thought something so helpful could become such a hindrance. Come to think of it, isn't that the way of most gifts? They are wonderful tools but can easily be misused or cause harm.

1 comment:

  1. Music and prayer is an interesting topic because it can easily be a help or a distraction.

    When I'm playing piano during a prayer time, I concentrate on playing that creates an atmosphere or mood, I use the music from the piano to mask/filter other sounds that can cause a distraction.

    I deliberately choose to not play anything recognizable as that becomes a distraction to the person playing.

    I think of the music I create during prayer times similar to an Abstract Painting. It creates a mood or feel without being anything specific.

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Having been in ordained ministry in the UMC for 34 years, I've experienced the truth that although, clergy are frequently present for others, no one can offer what they don't have.That's why if you're a clergy person, you need someone who will listen to you. Not the random next closest person available, but rather someone like a spiritual director, a therapist, a peer who can be fully present to you. I hope the links and posts you find here will give you ideas, humor, hope and encouragement. Scott Endress

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