Dear God, I awaken and look out upon the world. Do I see unruly wilderness or inviting forest?
The pathways I walk are for a time familiar and if I keep to a small area I am known. None trouble me. Soon I am in new lands. The sounds change and the shapes of the shadows are novel.
I am frightened in these new places.
Let me see, Lord, how similar the new is to the old. These are the same creatures, only clothed differently. I encounter the same souls and bid the same greetings.
Let me greet new fellows as familiar friends.
Dear God, worry has me moving in frantic ways. My mind darts from obligation to obligation like an animal.
Slow my thoughts. Steady my breath. Let my pace become filled with ease.
My knuckles are white. Loosen my grip on the day, sweet Lord.
Dear God, pride fills me, it grows within me, it directs my desires and thoughts. Each moment I search for a thunderbolt that will bring with it applause and recognition.
Lord, let me doubt myself. Let me taste worry and woe. Let me appreciate failure. Let these things root me into this moment, crowding out heady dreams of what may come tomorrow.
Let today’s work be done today.
Dear God, let me find rest in my time with you. Grant me the energy to walk all day and to meet all obligations with cheer.
Huddled here in my morning closet, I fear to take the day’s first step. I delay. Grant me courage to begin this walk.
Dear God, daily I wait – for what? Success? Change? Joy? Recognition?
Lord, let me see where, even as I restrain myself in action, I yet succumb to grasping and striving.
Let my thoughts become right sized. Take away my self-aggrandizement and replace it with a sincere desire to help my fellows.
Improve my inner life, O Lord.
Dear God, I am weary. Let me bear others’ burdens.
I am frightened. Let me give others a feeling of safety.
I am concerned that I do not have enough. Let me be generous.
Let others find in me the ease I find in you, dear Lord.
Today, grant me humility, generosity, acceptance, and diligence.
Dear God, I awaken anticipating tomorrow. I walk through the morning blindly, with my eye on the horizon. Those specks I see in the distance – those sails may be friend or foe. Tomorrow may bring battle or love.
Today those sails will not reach me. Today the sun warms my skin, a neighbor greets me, leaves are unfurling. Let me not miss it, Lord.
Take my thoughts away from the invisible tomorrow with its distant visitors. The smell of fresh earth enters my nostrils, the ground presses up against the soles of my feet. Therein is enough.
Dear God, do I expect too little?
I come before you as a child before their mother — yet how certain am I of your love for me? Deep within, I harbor doubt that all I need will be provided.
Lord, I limit my expectations and thus limit my ability to see your works.
Let me see you in all things. Let me have greater faith. Let me claim your true power.
Dear God, how can I diminish self? The more I seek this, the more I therefore and thinking inwardly.
Self grows stronger. Even as I stay along the margins, I imagine the days of being at the center of attention.
Lord, occupy my mind and hands: crowd out these incessant thoughts of self with labor.
Dear God, my thoughts turn so quickly to myself. I am consumed by striving and grasping, by worries over my status among my fellows. At the core of this restlessness is fear of judgment.
Lord, let me inhabit this life, as given and directed by you, in comfort. Grant me that true acceptance.