Some spiritual writers talk about a certain restlessness or boredom that sets in later in our lives. When we have followed a common way, or our own set spiritual routine, we can, as time goes on, experience greater difficulty in focusing our thoughts. A kind of repugnance at going through the same old motions can seep in. It is characterized as not something that is willed but something that gradually creeps upon us.
Since the time of my retirement in 1996, I have followed a pretty set spiritual routine every day. I love it! I look forward to it! It’s my favorite part of the day, but it has its flaws and, recently, even twinges of restlessness. When I experience these I look for minor changes to “tweak” the routine. This seems refreshing. In my morning and evening prayers I find such tweaking especially renewing since I’ve prayed at these times pretty much the same way all my life. It’s a little different with my centering prayer. The problem at which I fail in my centering prayer is keeping it regular and finding the best time of day to do it. The strongest parts of my spiritual routine and those which I least desire to change are my letter writing to You and my spiritual reading.
Nevertheless, the main observation I want to talk with You about here is that my feelings of restlessness and/or boredom may be induced by a gift of such “twinges” from You. I use the word “twinge” because it connotes something quiet, subtle, and small – like Your whisper. Instead of directly examining myself for the source of these twinges maybe I should look to You. Maybe You are trying to nudge me forward in new directions. Maybe You are saying, “Let’s move on.” I believe this is likely. You use in us whatever helps draw us to Yourself. With this view there are much fewer guilt feelings about restlessness and boredom. But the effort and will to “tweak” must still be chosen by me.