Driving as Spiritual Practice


The weather has cooled down considerably here in Seattle and everyone feels that things are back to normal.  A little rain would be appreciated – yes we do have days and in this case months without rain in the Pacific NW.  The garden is flourishing but definitely crying out for a good soaking.  However as most of the vegetables don’t like the heat any more than Seattlites do there will be few squash or beans to harvest over the next few days.  Probably just as well with me getting ready to head to Australia

Today’s post for the What is a Spiritual Practice series comes from a Presbyterian pastor on the East Coast of the US who writes under the pseudonym of Reverend Mother Her topic is one that all of us can relate to – driving.

Living in Suburban Sheol as I do, I want to propose driving as a spiritual practice.

…OK, hear me out on this!

First, we have some stereotypes to overcome, and some caveats:
Here’s the image of suburban driving: a mom in a gas-guzzling SUV, Starbucks in hand, cell phone ringing, kids making a racket in the backseat with the in-car DVD player blaring. It’s hard to see much that’s mindful about that, true… but it’s a caricature.

Now, I have heard of parents who sit in their car, idling with the air conditioning on, watching Junior play a soccer game. I also think we drive places when we’d be better off walking or biking, though few suburbs are built for that. I am concerned about sprawl, and this area has some truly horrendous commutes. And finally, driving purely for pleasure has never been much of an interest of mine. I’m a big believer in every-little-bit-helps environmentalism, so I’m not sure I want to encourage driving just for the heck of it.

All of that said… driving can provide nourishment for us spiritually. I know it is seen by most people as a necessary evil, something to be suffered through… but we might say the same about washing dishes, which has been addressed in the blog series. So here’s my case.  Read the entire article

The article reminded me of a prayer that I used in my book Godspace. It comes from another book entitled Blessings for the Fast Paced and Cyberspaced I thought that it was an appropriate addition to this post.  I have often sat in traffic thinking about the people in the cars around me and praying that God would protect them from road rage and road rush

O God, make my tools of technology into instruments of your peace today.

May my cell phone connect me to blessings but disconnect me from trivia.

May my automobile move me to safety, past road rage and road rush.

May my e-mail enrich me with connectedness but also give me the wisdom to empty the trash.

May the internet open up the world to me but not snare me into addictions.

Through sights, sounds, movements and competition move my spirit on angels’ wings.

When day is done, may I come home again out of stress into peace and joy.

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2 Responses

  1. What a beautiful prayer!

  2. […] Driving as Spiritual Discipline by Reverend Mother […]

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