Seven Sacred Pauses: The Twilight Hour

I may have said the Blessing Hour was my favorite, but honestly, I think it’s the Twilight Hour (which many of you have heard referred to as vespers).  The theme here: GRATITUDE.

Even the way Jen Hatmaker summarizes this time leaves me refreshed and smiling, “The main themes are gratitude and serenity as evening lamps are lit.  We invite God’s peace as we leave work and transition into dinner, family, home, rest.  Training our minds toward tranquility, we ask: What is the greatest blessing of this day? What one accomplishment can I smile over? What is undone that I can gently lay down until tomorrow? Is there anyone I need to make peace with? The Twilight Hour is for exhaling, calming our minds, and transitioning into the evening.”

I started off with this being our dinner prayer, but I found it warranted more time so fortunately I used my commute home to ponder these questions and make the transition.  I went to an event on Tuesday and a colleague asked me how I was, and I said, “you know, I’m great.  I am doing these seven sacred pauses and on my way here I finished one on gratitude and realized how much I really had accomplished today and what a success today really was!”  She could have looked at me like I’d lost my mind but actually shared a similar experience from earlier in the week she had on a noontime commute.  So funny how that happens.  But it was true.  I really was so much happier at night when I’d spent time pondering the successes from the day.  Even if there were failures, my mind was trained on what the blessings were, and I laid down the rest.

With this week being as hard as it was, this was a particularly welcome time.  When you can rest.  Turn the noise and the news off.  These sunrise and sunset prayers leave you feeling connected to a God in control when everything feels like it’s spinning out of control.  For that I am grateful.

All Your works shall praise You, O Lord, And Your saints shall bless You.  They shall speak of the glory of Your kingdom, And talk of Your power, To make known to the sons of men His mighty acts, And the glorious majesty of His kingdom. The Lord upholds all who fall, And raises up all who are bowed down. The eyes of all look expectantly to You, And You give them their food in due season. You open Your hand And satisfy the desire of every living thing.  The Lord is righteous in all His ways, Gracious in all His works. The Lord is near to all who call upon Him, To all who call upon Him in truth.  Psalm 145


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