The worker must labor. The student must study. The disciple must accept discipline.
The lover must love — and accept love.
Lord, let me be fully who I am before you. The worker, the lover. Let my devotion be action.
The pathway leads away from my doorstep. You beckon me — let me rise and begin the march without grumbling.
There is a meadow, and a cool stream down the way. Simple treasures. The only way there is on foot.
Let me walk, Lord.
A small group knocks at my door. They call me to follow them.
Am I needed where they are going? Or do I need to be with them?
Lord, are you in their midst?
I keep my door shut against intruders. My work, alone in this room, thus narrows.
Surely it is you who knocks. And yet I cower, afraid of what I will find when I answer.
Soften me, Lord. Let me fear not my fellows nor my duties.
I steel myself for burden after burden, labor upon labor. Will I be enough in the morning march? Will I be enough at noon? Can I persist through eventide?
Lord, take your child’s hand, and lead me into the day. Occupy me with just what is before me.
I fear what is to come an hour hence and already take my battle-stance. My weapons are ill-suited to this quiet garden, I have not even left my dwelling grounds.
Lord, let me love where I am. Labor will come anon.
Filled with doubt, I open the front door to view the meadow. What has visited in the night?
With reluctance, I round the corner and encounter my fellows. How will they greet me?
Sullenly, I gather the tools needed for the day’s chores. What will be asked of me?
The questions I ask terrify me. Lord, here on my cushion, whisper courage to me.
Let me be still. I tremble to fill quiet spaces with noise and action. Let me rest and wait silently.
Let me be efficient. I twitch and lash in response to every task. Let me have direction and certainty when my hands move.
Let me walk with purpose today, O Lord.
The dawn comes and yet I try to push it away. I hide behind my closet door, in hopes that the day will not begin.
And what is it I fear? I cannot even name it, this worry. It wraps me in its mist, all the edges soften, my heart pounds.
Lord, let me see more clearly what is outside the door. It is a still day and a shining sun, with a path winding through it. All that is asked is that I start walking.
You visit me, the crushed and fearful, and I scarcely notice you here with me. So intent am I on self protection. So fearful am I of the simple chores of the day.
How I long for a lap in which to rest my head – and here you are, seated by my side.
Lord, let me see you clearly. Let me remove my armor and rest.
How is your world ordered? Where is my place in it?
Am I the burden-bearer, the consoler, the lover, the tidings-shouter? O these choices, Lord, the path forks and forks again. I rest at each, the bewildered one.
Feeling my way in the cave, what shall I encounter? A bear, treasure, a forgotten lair to make my own?
Lord, I have walked these paths before and will again. You were with me then, as now.
All is well, no matter my choices. These forking paths are all within your garden.
Visitors may come. Is all prepared?
Lord, let me greet all who knock with warmth and cheer. They bear burdens. Let us sit together with relaxed bellies.
I carry a message today.
The path of this day leads away from my doorstep. I worry what I may find around the bend. Fear keeps me behind my threshold.
Lord, let me start walking nonetheless. I can see the ones who bear burdens; they need me. Once I reach them, there may be others I can see further on, equally needy.
From help to help, let this impel me. Unstick my feet, Lord.