By Andrea Lingle
We will pray daily
This is the opening statement of the Missional Wisdom Foundation's Rule of Life. Since I bumped into the MWF in 2012 (when my husband Luke Lingle began Launch & Lead), I have wondered about that line. As we sat in the community that was formed to explore the Launch & Lead process, we discussed what having a Rule of Life meant, what we should put in a Rule of Life, whether or not the MWF Rule of Life seemed appropriate for our group—we talked about everything about a Rule of Life except how to do it.
Now, sometimes that question bothers me. How sometimes feels like someone's (my children's) best attempt at prolonging not doing something. I don't know how to make my bed. I don't know how to practice my violin. I don't know how to empty the dishwasher.
But sometimes how links you from the hypothetical to the real.
We will pray daily is a good start. It says:
We value prayer highly
We value daily practice
We are a community
The rule does not read: As a follower of the Missional Wisdom Foundation's Rule of Life, I will pray daily. It reads: we. That is what puzzled me so deeply. How can we pray daily as a community that is dispersed?
Four years later I was able to go on a pilgrimage to Iona, Scotland (which I recommend). While there, pilgrims participate in prayer services twice daily at 9 am and 9 pm.
As you walk down the path to the Abbey in the morning, the sun glints off the water of the channel between Iona and the island of Mull, the tiny daisies open like manna on the loosely fenced sheep pastures, and just as you are rounding the bend and the abbey comes into view (slow walkers like me) hear to tolling of the abbey bell. Now it the beginning of the day.
As you walk down the path to the Abbey in the evening, the sun settles off your right shoulder, closing the day in pink and orange and golden light, the daisies are closed tightly against the mystery of night—and you don't even begrudge them that—and your feet settle into the rhythm of the walk that closes out your day.
These are touchstones.
Two moments a day when you join your voice, your intention, your prayer with others: other who are known, unknown, scattered, settled, upended, seeking, running...
Out of the Missional Wisdom Foundation's Rule of Life and the Iona Abbey's daily prayer comes the Dispersed Community Touchstones. This is us. This is we. You are invited to commit to our Touchstones prayer practice as...
We Pray Daily.