Monday, May 21, 2018

Dear God, faced with a new day, I become frantic as I set about to conquer it. I plan my victories and campaigns, and become anxious that the preparations are not yet done. My dreams trouble me, filled with worry.

Lord, give me solace. Let me have the peace that comes from reliance on you. Let me seek your will. I so often mouth those words. Today let me mean what I say.

Grant me, Lord, understanding of your will for me, and the willingness to be obedient to your dictates. Grant me power to carry out your bidding, in things large and small. Let me row where and as you steer me, fretting not that the direction is unseen.

(Letter #1227)

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Dear God, let me work to build others up in secret. Let me shun recognition and if the spotlight turns toward meeting let me shine it on others. Let me shrink, step into the margins.

For I so wish to be the focus of attention. I wish to stand tall, stride with force, and be the object of admiration. I am prideful and self-absorbed at depth.

Lord, move self to the side. Enter me. Let love enter me, and set out to spread from person to person. Let me be a carrier of love, quietly, secretly.

(Letter #1226)

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Dear God, impel me today. Be the wind at my back, inexorable. How unsettled I often feel when buffeted by storms, when blown this way and that like a paper cup. Yet at other times I yearn for the direction you provide, your strong and steady guidance.

Where is the difference? Why is one gust chaos, yet another shows up as loving direction? The fault is inside me.

Lord, you drive me toward your will, and it is up to me to submit to being moved. This chaos I feel is my own useless struggle against the wind.

I whip this way and that, feeling blown, yet in truth I am my own source of unrest.

Sweet Lord, let me relax and sail on. Thy will be done.

(Letter #1225)

Friday, May 18, 2018

Dear God, let me look upwards today. Let me be my higher self, and seek to align my will with yours. I build so many plans; they are so trivial in the end. They distract.

Let my plans fall away. They are all selfishness cloaked in righteousness. My motives will never be wholly yours – this is the bondage of self in which I exist. I cannot escape my instinct to preserve myself.

Lord, grant me relief, even for a moment. Let me step outside my cage, doing your will, or seeking to, even when self is at risk. Let my boundaries dissolve under your warm rains.

(Letter #1224)

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Dear God, it has been so long since I have felt this churning fear in the workplace. So much remains undone, so many things feel out of control. I watch and gauge the reactions of those around me, looking for evidence of enmity.

Underlying this fear is phantom guilt and selfishness. I fear others’ reactions to me when I perform my duties — as if any conflict must certainly be as a result of my wrongdoing.

Selfishness drives my incessant need for approval and this need in turn roils me.

Lord, cure my thinking. My attention is wrongly fixed on the world. Let me look to you, seek your will, do your will. Let my attempts to conform my will with yours be sufficient in my own eyes. Let me not pine for accolades and approval.

(Letter #1223)

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Dear God, I feel a veil between you and me and, try as I might, my thoughts and prayers cannot pierce it. I sit, and go through the motions of praying to you, of seeking your guidance, but the truth is that I am thinking primarily about my worldly pursuits.

Lord, let me focus my thinking today on how I will best serve you. Let me seek out contrary action, doing the tasks that I would rather not do or that scare me. Let me fill my day with kindness, with productive action, with right thinking.

Let me please see how my daily life, far from being a barrier to my relationship with you, can instead be a living prayer.

(Letter #1222)

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Dear God, I am at the mercy of the outside, material world. My inner state is so often controlled by it. Success creates elation, failure crushes me. Looking ahead to a dull day leaves me empty.

Lord, cure these attitudes. You are my glowing warmth regardless of events. Let my attitude become independent of worldly happenings.

Let me be your child today, O Lord. Let me approach the day with wonder.

(Letter #1221)

Monday, May 14, 2018

Dear God, I am so unsettled, a raw nerve. I try to calm myself through prayer, through meditation and mindfulness. The truth is that my thoughts race. I consider every event of the day, turning it over and over in my mind. How will I fare? What will others think? How will they judge me?

O Lord, grant me equanimity! I tremble in fear of what may come, the peace I have felt in the past flies away like a bird. Come back to me, sweet dove.

Lord, it is not you who has left me, but I you. I have drawn inward, curling self around self until the whole landscape is but a reflection of my inner thoughts. I shiver.

Lord, awaken me. Open my eyes and let me see the warm sunlight in which I have been basking all along.

Set my mind aright. I think too much of self. Pierce my veil of self-absorption; let me step outside of self and into the land of my fellows.

Help me, Lord.

(Letter #1220)

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Dear God, I plan and plan. My day grows before me like a house of cards. Each moment I fear a stray wind will knock it down.

Lord, give me foundation. Let me stand unmoving on stone, let me build no castles. Let my plans be simple and guided by you.

Plant my feet unmoving. I am so changeable, I wander. Root me.

(Letter #1219)

Saturday, May 12, 2018

Dear God, I feel the wind on my face as I look out over the valley. You have brought me up here to be alone and closer to you. So many turns and switchbacks on the path to this place, so much of it through shadow and rain.

Today the sun shines down, and the wind rises to meet me. There are my fellows, in the distance, going about their days and days.

But look! My solitude was illusion. My neighbors have never left me, nor I them. Yet I feel the lonely wind.

Lord, you thrill me even amidst these routine days. This feeling of the heights, this quickened heart — these amount to a gift of energy. You supply power. Motive force. I do not plod through this day, I glide! I soar.

Lord, let me not feel aloof from the friends who mill about me. Let me hold out my hand to one, two, three of them. More. I walk gently among them and I spring from this society, but you have marked my spirit. You supply me.

Let me be no hoarder. Let me share your supply.

(Letter #1218)