Dear God: fear, fear, fear. I face so much today that frightens me. I worry I have not prepared myself well enough, that I have not completed tasks well enough, that all will see and despise my shortcomings.
Of what, in truth, am I afraid? The answer is simple: the judgment of others.
Lord, let me see through this illusion. Let me see truth today: what you would have me do and where you would have me go. Your love. Your forgiveness. Your grace.
Lord, in quiet and pleasant times I feel beatified by your love. In chaotic times I feel protected by the simplicity of your will. But it is in ordinary times, like today, that I fall farthest from you. These small worries loom so large.
Lord, repair my thinking. Grant me grace – let me focus on helping others and not on protecting my own status. Let me spread your words of love.
Thy will be done.
Dear God, let me not dwell so on my own fear and worry. I face such simple challenges, yet I approach them as if they were matters of life or death.
A glance at the faces of my fellows reveals that they, too, carry heavy burdens of fear. That thing I find easy and routine, it may be seen by my neighbor as a fearsome enemy. Just as my looming dangers may be simple rocks in the road when others encounter them.
If we all harbor fear, let me then be a source of succor and love. If I spread relief, may it come back to me. Let me, Lord, trust that this supply will reach me.
Dear God, you come to me not in the form of major events, nor as a disembodied voice. You visit me in the guise of other people, indeed you reside within others just as you reside within me. And yet I seek solitude, apartness – and I thus separate myself from you.
Let me, Lord, see my interactions with my fellows as a practice of devotion. Let me eagerly greet them and find your motivating spirit in all they tell me. If harsh words or ill feeling come my way, let me look all the harder for the gift hidden inside.
Lord, let me love.
Dear God, let me look throughout this day for all the ways you guide and protect me. That turning where I might have gone astray. That footfall I might otherwise have placed poorly. That moment I held my tongue.
Your protection so often consists of turning my actions away from my own impulses. Saving me from myself.
Such an unruly spirit, I sow chaos unless restrained. Hold me down, soothe my trembling limbs as they press against you, let my breath slow. Release me gently when I can again move with purpose.
Lord, my mind darts here and there like a minnow. Let me become slow. Let me arrive last at all my destinations, allowing your will to unfold slowly across the day. Let my steps, my breath, my thoughts become measured.
Let others run. I will walk. Hold my hand, Lord, and walk with me. Let me feel your steady presence.
Dear God, let me abandon myself to you. I am so timid, protective of my supposed well-being. This hard shell under which I crouch is what stands in the way of my truly being your instrument. I lock myself away in a safe where I am untouched, yet useless.
Let me stand, raise my head above my trench, and call across the battlefield words of love to the forces arrayed against me. Let me recognize that they are no army but just a group of children like me.
O! This safety I seek is a prison. Let me break free. Let me beckon my fellows to join me. The danger I fear in escape is a mirage, shadows projected on the wall.
Lord, let me feel the solid ground underfoot. That is your gift – universal support. Those whom I believe to be my enemies, those whom I believe to be my jailers, those whom I believe to be my friends, yea, even my family – we all stand on the same ground.
Dear God, the circumstances in which I find myself afraid are so predictable. The fear always has at its root my desire to protect my status. Lord, such trivia consumes me. Deliver me from these needles of care, let me float above my own worries. They amount to nothing.
God, I know you will meet my needs with supply. You will meet my cares with ease.
Instead of trying to console myself, let me set about carrying the good news to others. We will all be okay. We are already okay.
Dear God, my nature is to desire the spotlight, to be praised. You call me to set aside these desires, to instead to try to be helpful to others, not to seek notice. This is such a discipline, Lord. I fail at this task many times, moment to moment: I spread my own fame, I preen and try to present the best possible image, I act in the hopes of gaining status.
Lord, correct my intent, for it is on that level that I fall short. My actions may well be noble, but if I pursue good works just so I may become known for them, I am no less selfish than any other egoist.
Lord, Lord, let me have better intentions. When I help another, let it be in secret. Let my practice this day be one of anonymity.
Anonymity is spiritual, for it denies me the avenue of self-aggrandizement.
Lord, let me be your faceless and nameless worker today. Let me be the one who no one notices.