Dear God, if you speak to me from the mouths of others, then I must not retreat from my fellows. I must go out and meet them.
Where I have harmed, where there is wrong, I must make repairs.
Lord, let me draw near to you through all these people you present to me. Let me see each as speaking your words – and let my acts toward them be ones of devotion.
While I slept, you filled my pack with all the supplies I will need this day. You placed others to greet me along the road. You arranged challenges to strengthen me, areas of rest to soothe me.
Now, I have but to start my walk. Let me sing.
Dear God, as my habits become more orderly, so, too, let my thoughts become orderly. My mind darts from fear to fear to fear, from plan to plan. It is a hungry and distractible beast.
Lord, tame me. Let me dwell on one thought at a time. One moment, one thought. If I have a fear, let me consider it fully in your shining light. When it is time for a new thought, let me drop the old.
Slow my movements, dear God, and let my thinking slow too. Grant me the willingness to take the time necessary to discern and consider your will.
Dear God, am I to be the mule or the horse? Stubborn, sullen, reluctantly led and useful only for bearing burdens? Or an eager helpmeet, playful and willing?
Lord, you have designed this day, laid out the paths, established even the weather. The tasks are set. I can reluctantly set about an endless stream of chores, or I can trot along the meadow, happily encountering each new fence post and furrow.
You have already moved aside the dangers; the obstacles I meet are mere puzzles.
Lord, let my attitude be one of happy usefulness and eager curiosity.
Dear God, what shall I value? What do I count as accomplishment, and what as failure?
Lord, correct my inner life. Envy, pride, fear grow like weeds. They choke my thinking.
Let me not pursue what the world holds up as valuable. Success and power are ashes in the mouth.
Let me dedicate my moments to seeking your will today.
Dear God, your peace is no mere absence of trouble. In dark woods, when I come upon a meadow, it is teeming with life, the sun shines down, the ground is soft with green grass. Flowers burst from every crack. The meadow sings joy. It is no empty clearing.
So, too, Lord, does your peace bring with it gift upon gift. Yes, Lord, you rescue me from agitation, worry, and conflict. But you do so by delivering to me love, a feeling and desire for usefulness, healed and healthy relations.
My quiet, placid days churn with joy invisible to the eye.
Let me bring my fellows to your meadow, O Lord, those who wish to find it. We will sit still, living a solid joy.
Dear God, your love, your peace, your power is a smoothly flowing river. You flow through me, my fellows, my community. Smooth power, available to all.
A small part of things, what then must I do with this smoothly coursing force?
Even the refreshing, calm pool of water moves unseen. It has an outflow, else it goes brackish.
So, too, are the rapids a trial. They are chaos, suitable only for those who crave distraction.
And the dam? It robs those downriver of their due.
I, Lord, a vessel of flowing water, your obedient river — let me take heed. Let me not be the stones and incline that cause the whitewater, nor let me be the stagnant pool of muck. Let me not dam your flow and act the miser.
If I am to flow, let me calmly give all away. Let idle rest and ecstasy be equally illusion.
My life, this day, let it be filled with the slow giving of gifts.
Dear God, lo! I am already where you would have me be. I am already whole.
I glide amongst my fellows, a member of this herd, undamaged by the brambles through which we move. All equally well, even the infirm, for you rain sunshine down upon us.
Let me nudge the shoulders of my sisters and brothers who have not yet awakened. They toss in fitful dreams, worried and small. They will come to themselves and leave these shadows in the night where they belong. They will glide with me, beaming with realized joy.
Oh joyous herd!