Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Dear God, I am already thinking, even at this early hour, of ways to distract and divert myself from my obligations. Before I know it, the day will be over and I will wonder where it has gone.

Why do I shirk so? It is invariably the case that, when I sit down to do my work, it is both more simple and more enjoyable than I feared.

What is in my mind? I imagine there will be a way to get out of the deadline, to kick the can down the road. This amounts to a childish belief that the rules do not, or should not, apply to me. I am special and therefore to be granted privileges.

Indeed, this self-privileging extends into many realms. I am convinced deep down that somehow I will have unnaturally long longevity, that I will remain hale throughout my days, that my body ought not to show any signs of age. I convince myself that, with magical adherence to a strict regimen of nutrition, this will be so.

Escaping death, escaping deadlines, escaping obligation. All infantile fantasies.

Lord, today let me accept the conditions around me as they truly are. Let me acknowledge the restrictions placed naturally upon me by the world. Let me have the grace to act diligently in the face of them.

Let me meet my obligations today – not as a way of staying out of trouble, or as a way of pleasing temporal authority, but as a way of expressing my obedience to you.

Let this be a way of acting toward unselfishness.

(Letter #979)