The other day on Facebook I was confronted by this quote on my wall:
“You say grace before meals. All right. But I say grace before the concert and the opera, and grace before the play and pantomime, and grace before I open a book, and grace before sketching, painting, swimming, fencing, boxing, walking, playing, dancing and grace before I dip the pen in the ink.”
� G.K. Chesterton
I’ve been trying for a while now to remember to be prayerful, mindful when I sit down at the computer. I’ve toyed with various ideas of how to remind myself. Nothing worked. But when I read this Chesterton quote something clicked. I knew exactly what to do to remind myself to say grace before I used my computer. I went and found a sharpie and wrote one word on the top of my computer screen: Grace.
Later that day Dom saw it and was a bit shocked that I had written on my computer with permanent marker.
I haven’t settled on a particular prayer. Nothing set like the grace before meals. Often I just cross myself and perhaps repeat the phrases that begin every hour of the Liturgy of the Hours: God, come to my assistance. Lord, make hast to help me. Glory to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and will be forever. Amen Sometimes I ask for God’s guidance, for my work to honor him and to bless the people I am connecting with online. Sometimes it’s more a sort of help or a wordless being in God’s presence.
Even with the reminder I don’t always remember, or always choose to pause. But on the whole I feel like I am more mindful, more apt to be prayerful. I’ve found myself less apt to be sucked into Facebook and Twitter and clicking through to blogs. (I can’t remember was it Jennifer at Conversion Diary who compared it to being at a slot machine, that quest for immediate gratification? Yes. It was number 17 in this list.)
And sometimes I remember to pray and find my time of the computer becomes fruitful indeed.
I later added a few additional embellishments, as you can see. I’m not exactly sure why but I just felt they were the right things to write.
They aren’t the prettiest reminders but they work for me. And I do find there’s a bit more room for grace to slip in.