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)

Monday, July 3, 2017

Dear God, let me please seek improvement today. Let me pursue worthy aims. Let me seek that my character defects might be removed.

I have many tasks before me, distributed in many areas of life: work, home, health, family, spirit. Let me please be industrious today. Let me not shirk or be lazy. Let me do this effort as a way of offering my will and my life over to your care. Let me uphold my obligations today.

(Letter #915)

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Dear God, purify me. Burn away all my character defects; leave behind some semblance of whom I ought to be. Take away all that would offend you.

I am so keenly aware of my shortcomings today. My pride and arrogance, my irresponsibility, my selfishness, my sloth. Lord, let me be willing to behave as if these things had been removed. Let me become willing that I might be improved.

Achieving such willingness does not come easily. My natural state is fundamentally imperfect, willfully so. And while I may imagine myself willing to improve, am I really? The test is to what extent am I acting contrary to my defects? I admit this is not frequent. Much more often, I behave selfishly, slothfully, pridefully. And yet the pain of my imperfection remains my constant companion. When will it be enough? When will you see fit to relieve me?

God, let me accept your timing in this. Let me do my part, and become entirely willing to be whom you would have me be. Take away the defects that stand in the way of my usefulness to you and to my fellows.

(Letter #914)

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Dear God, a sense of ease and calmness is on the edge of my awareness. I can feel it trying to settle in upon me, yet it remains just out of reach. As I focus on my desire for this calm, like a cloud it dissipates — and I instead find myself listing those things that cause me fear and anxiety. I replace ease with trouble.

Lord, this tendency to willfully turn my thoughts to my own supposed troubles is a temptation. Like other temptations, it exists to teach me loyalty and faith in you. Such faith in turn teaches me to avoid acting on my many shortcomings.

Lord, let me pass on your love today. Let my faith in you be infectious. Just as I can easily spread rumor and gossip, I can just as easily spread joy and serene faith.

Let me allow that feeling of ease to settle in upon me. Let me not chase it away with my own self-regard.

(Letter #913)