Dear God, when I cease struggling, I gain a brief awareness of how fundamentally you support me. If a challenge falls upon me, you are there without my even noticing – you deliver to me the proper words or deeds even without my seeking them.
I am like a child who has newly learned to walk. Your hands float inches away from my hips, ready to right me when I tip, to turn my path when I veer toward a ledge. All the while I think I am walking alone.
I sit here. The chair supports me, and the floor underneath holds the chair. The foundation below and, further, there is the ground. Your powerful arms underneath it all. Let me feel this support driving up from you through the worldly objects and manufactured surfaces, right into me. Buoyed and grounded all at once. Protected from toppling, directed away from disaster.
Try as I may to wreck the plans you have laid for me with my willfulness, my efforts to thwart you always amount to a puff of air against a mountain.
Let me, therefore, believe myself to be your protected, favored child. If I am so fundamentally loved, from the depths of the earth, what then shall I do with the energy otherwise spent in defending myself against imagined calamity? It never happens. So let me spend this effort in giving to others, pointing out to them the supports underneath that they may not have noticed, or have forgotten.
Let me spread the good news that we are all held aloft.
Dear God: Light and air. Morning mist. Dawn shadows. I move through these early hours, like a meticulous ghost, tending to my duties quietly and carefully. You pad along next to me, whispering in my ear. Straighten these objects. Clean this surface. My small actions are my devotion to you. What soft satisfaction, to allow my chores to become prayer.
God, it is not the occasions and doings, the events, for which I am so grateful. It is the attitude you have instilled in day to day activities. What a task you set before us, your children! You call us – you call me – to allow your love to improve our inner life.
When fearful and small, I call out to you. On clearer mornings I know I ought better call inward. There you are, right next to me. I whisper to you, and you whisper to me, here in the quiet shadows.
O my dear friend. Let me do your bidding today.
Dear God, I am camped by a waterfall, gifts cascading down without end and without number. I am so accustomed to the roar of the water I do not even hear it. On dark days, I awaken and believe myself to be in a wasteland, without resources.
O Lord, let me see the infinity of gifts pouring down around me, soaking me. The small courtesy extended by a friend, the challenge offered by a superior, the honesty delivered by the criticism of an adversary. The sun. A meal. This faith. I am waiting so expectantly for dramatic grace that I do not even look at what is right before my eyes.
God, in constant ways, you provide. Before I even know my own needs you have prepared the way, cleared the path, chosen the route. What arrogance, for me to even imagine I could know and list my requirements.
Let me become aware of your astounding love. Let my deepest thoughts undergo a revolution. Let me encounter this downpour of your love, feel it soak me to the bone in a way I cannot ignore. Awaken me.
Dear God, as I try to order my affairs so that I can best be your instrument, doing your work among my fellows, I struggle to discern when you are preparing me for some later trial, and when the time is nigh and you call me to act with vigor.
Are you using me or training me? The challenges with which I am presented cause me fear. I am worried at how high the stakes may be.
Lord, O Lord, deliver me equanimity! This arrives wrapped in faith, on those few occasions when I experience it.
Let me not look too deeply into the happenings around me; let me not ask so many impertinent questions; let me view the training ground, the factory floor, and the field of battle as equal.
Let me center my thinking and actions on living a life of faith. This, my project. Let this be the glowing core of my life, an ember warming me as I shiver in fear at the largeness of the world.
Thy will be done.
Dear God, slowly, drip by drip, you fill my reservoirs. Where would you have me pour my energies today? Where is the greatest need? Who has it? Let me look there. Let me bring the good news to that place. Let me tend to the wounds of the world, quietly, attentively.
I have my own worries and cares. Lord, let me see how small these are in comparison to the need with which I am presented. Let me fix my attention on that which calls for my care.
Lord, what would it mean for me to be an instrument of your will today? How would I behave, what would I say, where would I go? Let me do that, say that, go there. This one day is too important to spend on myself, I only have these few hours to enact your instructions.
My time to help grows short, the wounds that call for attention worsen, desperation creeps among my fellows.
All the while I pursue my own selfish aims. Let me set these aside and return to my duties. Let me gladly bring care and hope to the broken. For you have filled me, and will fill them. They need but know.
Dear God, my aims are so limited. More often than not, I seek only comfort, praise, and relief from fear. My goals arise out of my defects: sloth, pride, and fear. Lord, let me transcend this narrowness that shackles me.
The love you pour upon me is wasted on my meager plans. You grant unlimited power and with it I seek ways to gain the most trivial advantage.
My Lord, adjust my intentions. Let me meet your grand love with worthy objectives. Let me stand, with straight back, and stride through this day. I am neither beast, creature, slave, nor prisoner. I am your child. Your power and infinite love are my birthright.
Let me stop tinkering and fidgeting, building birdhouses and sand castles, but let me erect structures that match your magnificence. Lighthouses for my fellows, similarly blinded by self-delusion. Let us begin to see.
Dear God, can I sit still today? Can I slow my actions, my very movements? My thoughts? Let me feel every footfall, every sensation, every mood and idea that slips through my mind.
You have placed me, O Lord, in this moment. Now. You have filled it with gifts: sensations, thoughts, feelings. I willfully dismiss these and look instead to an imagined future, built by my own selfish fears or, alternatively, by my prideful musings. Or I look back at my dim past with both remorse and self-congratulation in equal measure.
Lord, let me inhabit this moment! You are here with me, now. The farther away from this moment I go, the more I burrow into yesterday’s and today’s fantasies, into the gossamer world around me, the farther I get from you.
Let me draw nearer to you. Let me see you in the small doings all around me, close in. Let me make a minute study of you. Let the small details of this moment crowd out the phantasms with which I so eagerly muddy my thought life.
Dear God, you see through me. You tear through my outer covering, my shell, as if it were tissue. My interior is so flawed yet you persist in loving me. You do not even ask me to change. You adore this lump of a human without condition.
And yet I dress myself up in self-delusion. Observing my interior, some days I despise whom I see, other days I am so proud of my piety. I gild my exterior, and I imagine you look on bemused.
All illusion. You see the truth and the truth is that I am your child, small and needing your love. Trembling in the cold rain. You wrap me in your warm arms. I need but feel them.
My fellows are equally needy. So small. You have graced me with awareness of your love for us shivering, frightened children. Let me tell others of this, nudging them and sharing the warmth you have inserted into my heart.
Let me share the good news: we inhabit a world of illusion. We are loved.
Dear God, on this fresh morning I shine like a new penny. Your wind fills my sails and I am urged forward.
Let me give more today, for you provide without limit. Energy, time, love, wealth. Let me pour a better attitude into every circumstance I encounter.
You have sent me, your agent, to deliver love and good cheer. So what of my trials and worries? The hotelier does not complain to the guest; the lifeguard does not bid the drowning to wait.
Let me beam love into every cranny and crag, warmth into every heart, kindness into every relation.
You strengthen me. Let me view this strength as an obligation, for you have given it without my deserving. Let me be a steward of it, holding it in trust for others, bestowing it without judgment. Let me keep nothing back.
More. Let me give more.
Dear God, I receive so much from you, untold blessings and bounty. Surely you do not mean for me to be miserly and hoard your treasures. Let me, therefore, give everything. Let me bestow your treasures, passing on the gift – peace. Love.
I am awake, O Lord. I see that love is at the center of it all. Let me awaken those around me.