This is from a reflection paper I wrote years ago while attending a two year program on spiritual direction. It mentions my personality type as revealed through the Meyers-Briggs testing method. For those who are not familiar with this, you will find more information by following this link:
As a INFJ the routines of church attendance and Bible study come fairly easily to me. I love the ritual of the liturgy and the church seasons. This is the “J” part of me coming out. The “NF” part of my personality, however, identifies with a character in the novel “Absolute Truth” by Susan Howatch. She says:
“… my busy over-educated brain is a positive hinderance to prayer, and far too often my thoughts speed off on tangents that are intellectually fascinating, but quite irrelevant to the task of praying….”
In consequence, times of inner silence and contemplation elude me. I’ve discovered that while it is easy for me to be quiet, it is difficult to be “still.”
In 1990, after attending a Via de Cristo retreat, I got serious about prayer as a discipline and since that time have sampled numerous prayer techniques which seem to work for a season. Shortly after the retreat, I started going into work early. I would spend a few minutes each day sitting in my car and praying with the “Pilgrim’s Guide” we were given on the weekend. At times I’ve walked regularly, using that as my time alone with God and nature. For a while my Saturday morning housecleaning routine became a time of prayer. I played Christian music and dedicated the time to God or sometimes to a particular person or event. One summer I spent time almost every evening in my backyard, sitting alone in an adirondack chair and praying directly from Scripture. I’ve used devotional books as a daily aid to prayer and meditation. None of these routines really seemed to “stick” on a long-term basis.
To be continued ……