Dear God, you are sun shining down on me; you are armies arrayed behind me; you are a locomotive powering me forward. You are the force that inexorably causes the roots and branches of these trees to grow, to crush the sidewalk into rubble. You are power, my Lord, sitting here quietly with me in silence.
What shame and tragedy that I so often forget or deny this majestic force. I plan my actions as if you were absent.
Lord, let me align myself with your vast forces. Only I can get in the way of your aid to me, through denial, obstinateness, or distraction. Let me not distract myself with worry. Let me unleash you.
Dear God, I too quickly pick up every burden I see. I imagine that I am alone walking through this day. These things that must get done, these tasks that I am to perform – all up to me. I think of you as a source of solace, or serenity. Such a dim shadow of faith.
Let me instead have true dependence on you, dear Lord. Let me trust that you will provide, doing for me the things that I cannot do myself, arranging events to support my efforts, delivering reinforcements in those things that I cannot do singly.
When faced with a daunting task, let me not just wish for relief, but expect the aid that has always come – whether that aid be in the form of needed energy, assistance from other quarters, removal of the obligation or burden, or some other way I cannot imagine. Let this be my quiet assurance.
I see you too often as simply balm for my troubles. But the burdens and troubles remain. Let me, Lord, see you more substantially – as power. Let me, Lord, align myself with your will and quietly get to work knowing that you have already provided all that is needed.
Dear God, here, in the midst of my quiet fellowship with you, fear slips in like a thief. It robs me of everything, of faith, as I train all my thinking upon how I will escape calamity.
Lord, let me please see my fear rightly. It is not true that, if only I had greater faith, fear would never visit. No, you call me to have faith even in the face of fear. Indeed, I have many emotions all the while my faith abides. My devotion to you does not blot out my feelings – it accompanies them and makes me able to stand and walk even when I would cower.
Lord, let me listen while you direct my thoughts. Let me go where you call.
Dear God, let me not be distracted today. In each circumstance, I face the same challenge: to discern your will and to do it gladly. The events of each moment attract my attention and I misperceive this one to be different than the last, to call for a different approach than the previous. Such a hard lesson to learn, that in all cases what is called for is the same: wait. Ask. Listen. Give.
Spurred by pride, I see myself as master of my actions, called to carefully determine my course under shifting conditions. Let me, Lord, grow in humility. Let me recognize this illusion of mastery for what it is. I am no ship’s captain. This newly presented storm is not unique. This vessel needs the same attention as ever – cleaned, painted, maintained. I am a hand, no pilot.
Lord, let me cease imagining myself to live a heroic life. Let my life be one of stewardship. Let me tend to the gifts you place before me. People, objects, no matter. Let them all thrive under the care directed by you.
Dear God, I take such comfort in these daily structures I have erected. My quiet seat. These books. The soft lamp. Blank pages that my pen fills. But O! I mistake the seen for the unseen.
My seat and my pen are neither the containers nor instruments of my devotion to you. It exists apart. I am called to seek you in the chaos, the maelstrom, just as in my crafted quiet time.
This solitude and silence are not your requirements. They are my own crutches. They ease my walking along a path to you, dear Lord.
Let there come a time that I throw aside my cane and walk toward you unaided. Let me stride with single purpose, serene, even as the earth quakes and the storm howls. The tissue around me, this apparent world, reveals itself as mist.
But no. Until then, I so depend on these quiet conditions. Let me therefore be thankful, seeing them as the gift they are. One day you may call me to march before I feel ready. Today, in my quiet, let me prepare myself for such a day.
Dear God, deep inside me is a quiet space that you have built. I become distracted by all the competing tasks and demands unfolding all around me. Hurry. Perform.
My attention darts from object to object; I kick up a whirlwind of panic.
Lord, let me move slowly. You are speaking to me inside that quiet space, and my running footfalls drown your voice.
I perversely run from you, when your sweet voice would instead give ne peace. Let me act no more swiftly than will allow me to hear. Slow. Ease.
Let me slowly do your will.
Dear God, let me not be distracted by events around me. I struggle to keep my mind single; my attention flits from place to place.
Lord: let me focus on aligning my actions with your calling. Even when distracted, in the midst of chaos, let me ask and discern how I might do your will.
You did not build me to be shut away from the world but to walk in it. If I am to so walk, let me have purpose.