Monday, July 31, 2017

Dear God, let me move slowly today.

As I begin considering all that faces me today, anxiety grows. Obligations crowd in. But when I am able to focus intently on the present moment, these termites of worry cease.

In meditation, I am taught not that the object is to empty the mind, but to practice focusing on the present, to the exclusion of all else. The more I focus on now, on what is before me, the more slowly I move, the more efficiently I function – and the more useful to you I am, Lord.

My mind darts from idea to idea, like a paper cup in the wind.

Slow my thoughts, O Lord. Slow my movements. Let my awareness of you, here, now, in this present moment, grow. Let me move with care. Let me seek guidance moment by moment, slowly considering your will for me.

Let me act, single-mindedly and with intention on your behalf.

(Letter #943)

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Dear God, your creation sings to me quietly: the birds, the still, clear air, the mist on the grass. I struggle to list what I am grateful for, yet it is all around me for me to see, staring back at me.

Lord, let my attitude be right. You give me the gift of this day; let me unwrap it with gratitude. Let me search for your guidance in every moment. Direct my feet, guide my hands, control my words – that I may be your instrument today.

These things of beauty I see all around me – I am one of them. I am part of your creation. Let me be a demonstration of your love for some other soul who may be looking at this world through eyes of sorrow or doubt. Grant me willingness to be your beacon today.

(Letter #942)

Letters to Resume

Dear friends, I am happy to say I plan to begin publishing daily letters to God again, starting Sunday 7/30. I have been continuing writing daily, but have been not been posting.

Thank you for your patience and messages of love.

Summer Break from Publishing

Dear friends: for the rest of July 2017, I am taking a break from publishing these daily letters. 

During that time please rest assured I will still be writing them — they are my form of prayer — but I will not be transcribing and sending every morning.

At the end of the month I will reassess whether to resume publishing. Thank you for your friendship. 

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Dear God, I awaken agitated, thinking for the most part about myself. I am fearful of what may happen, what interactions I will be a part of, what I may be called on to do.

When I closely examine my worries, I see that pride and ego lie at the center of them.

I am fearful that my standing among my fellows will be diminished – or, indeed, that is not so high as I like to believe. I am fearful that some reversal will take place that will alter my life. I am afraid that I will be found out to be an imposter, unworthy. Even when my worry reflects concern for others, as when I am fearful about what may happen to a loved one, the fear is really based on anxiety about how I will feel about what happens to them.

Everything comes back to this. Self-centered thinking.

Lord, please improve my thinking. Get my attitude right. Reprogram me. Take my thoughts and make them into something positive.

I could, indeed, just as easily focus on positive aspects of my circumstances as negative. Instead of fearing that I may lose standing, I can be glad for those friends that I have. Instead of worrying about must what must be done today, I can be enthusiastically curious about what I may get to do next.

God, I know that I cannot change my thinking all by myself. Change me. Guide my thoughts, heal my mind. Grant me knowledge of your will for me, and make me willing to act in conformance to it. Please deliver to me a sign of guidance.

Let me please remember that you offer joy. To be miserable, anxious, fretful – this is all my own option. But I can also choose joy. Help me to do so, O Lord.

(Letter #921)

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Dear God, for some time I have been dissatisfied with external circumstances. My physical body is not to my liking. My professional life is enveloped in tension. My finances are challenging. My behavior in family relations causes friction.

Yet, Lord, as I sit in this room and listen to the sounds around me, and feel the ground beneath my feet, I recognize that none of these outward conditions are as I believe them to be. All of my vexations arise from the judgments and stories I tell myself about what are, in reality, neutral phenomena.

The tension and aggravation I feel is entirely due to my attitude. I can be displeased that my body is not leaner, or I can be grateful that I have physical health. I can be despondent that I do not have greater recognition in my career, or I can be delighted at the stability and security my job provides. I can be frustrated at the reactions of those around me, or I can be comforted in the fact that I am loved.

If my attitude is the result stories I myself tell, then it must be so that what I perceive as reality is in fact unreal.

I am a spiritual being and indeed construct my own reality. Lord, let me bring my thinking in line with your will for me. Only when I draw near to you do I truly feel whole. When I perceive things going well in my life, I may have fleeting comfort – but when I align my thoughts to your will I have true peace.

Lord, let me release the stories I tell that do not serve me. Let me be filled with love and peace. Let me know I am safe to my core. Let me accept the freedom you offer. Thy will be done.

(Letter #920)

Friday, July 7, 2017

Dear God, I feel diminished at work. I feel beset on all sides by criticism, tasks are undone and coming due, I fear that I am just a few weeks away from learning that I am not needed.

Lord what if this is a time of trial, here for a purpose? The trial may not in fact be comprised of external trouble – it may be my attitude. Seen objectively, this period may be best characterized as being marked by irrational fears. What if it is the fear itself that is my test? I am not being asked to conquer adversity, but to face fear.

Lord, I know what to do about fear. You have taught me. Deepen faith. Seek to be of service. Try to discern and act on your will and guidance. Take the next right action, however small.

Let me be willing to do these things. The test brought by this fear is rooted in temptation. It is comforting to wallow in my self-absorbed fear and so to become useless to you and to the world. Instead of acting, I dither and fret.

My attitude will not be improved by thinking about it. Lord, let me act. Let me meet this test by seeking and doing your will, regardless of my emotions.

(Letter #919)

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Dear God, in my interactions with others, let me focus my efforts on behaving rightly.

Let me attend to my own actions and not try to control the reactions of others. I am often trying to arrange circumstances around me to suit my liking, and this includes people. This places me in a state of agitation – worrying about how I will control the outcomes of every interaction.

Lord, let me remember that all around me are people, each their own complete being. For me to seek to control them is to try to take your place. It is not only a lack of faith, but it is also arrogance. Hubris. I have no standing to control others. Let me not seek it.

Lord, let me see clearly and accept my place in this world. Let me be your servant, just one among many. Let me recognize those around me as equal agents under your gaze.

Let me try my hardest to be a friend to my fellows, a partner in labor, a brother. Let me bring enthusiasm to all my tasks today, and make others’ burdens lighter.

Let me accept and do your will today.

(Letter #918)

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Dear God, let me turn my thoughts today to gratitude. Let me be grateful for all you have wrought in my life. Every circumstance is of use, if I but find how.

I am anxious as I face the day. I fear I will not be up to the tasks set before me. I fear I have done too little and shirked, and now I will be called to account. I fear my financial resources are inadequate, stretched too thin. I fear something terrible will befall me or those I love.

This litany fears. They are so unremarkable and ordinary. There is nothing unique in them and they must surely be felt by many. If that is so, then surely, Lord, you must easily remove them.

God, please cure my thinking. I so often face these fears and worries, as if each day is a fresh potential catastrophe. How can this go on? It is tiring, unsupportable.

Change me, Lord. I torture myself with my worry and poor attitude. Grant me a way out.

Let me please direct my attention and efforts toward my fellows. Take my focus away from myself, where it does no good. Let me serve others today and in so doing let me do your will.

(Letter #917)

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Dear God, I like to tell myself that I seek simplicity, yet if I examine my life and activities I am far from it. My life feels quite complicated, with competing demands and aims, conflict, worries and troubles.

In truth, much of this complexity I bring upon myself, and indeed I perversely seek out. I complain of woe and trouble, yet I must, on some level, desire that very thing – for the trouble in my life is in fundamental ways brought on by my own actions. And even when this is not so, my attitude is then to blame. My selfish ego.

Lord, let me actively seek out a simple life. Let me avoid complexity. Let me only turn my attention to one thing at a time, marching through the day in a single-minded effort to do your will.

Thy will be done today, O Lord. Let this be sufficient.

(Letter #916)