Even when tired, I walk forward. The path beckons. There is work to be done.
In tidying the corners of my room, Lord, I make myself ready for you. In tending the land, I surrender my labor, my tribute to you.
The work is the way. Let me sing, Lord.
Take away my self-sufficiency.
You throw up insurmountable barriers, that I may surrender and rely more fully on you.
The cliffs that box me in, the empty cupboard, these frayed nerves – all conspire that I may give up, give in, give over.
Yet, Lord, only as a last resort do I fully depend on you. Deepen my faith, increase my dependence.
Let me set aside this prideful striving and occupation.
Thy will be done.
Let me view this fear as your gift to me. I tremble at the day. It is an opportunity for greater reliance on you. Hold my hand and pull me into the sun, shaking and dragging my feet.
I seek cushions, seclusion, approval. Let me take contrary action, that I may become the being of love you envision. Prod me from my resting place, Lord.
Is it courageous to do what I fear? Perhaps it is faith.
Let me accept your love as I stand in the sunshine.
I worry. I resent. I plan. I fear.
Grant me a changed attitude. I have built around me such a dark structure. Let me walk out into the light.
Let me accept.
Let me love.
Let me serve.
Let me do your will.
What if all my fears indeed came to pass? Held up to ridicule, subject to loss, left alone. The sun would still rise, the birds still sing, the forest still teem with life. My fears are shadows.
Abundance, approval, fellowship – these are all around even as I fear their opposites.
Lord, let me see through these flickering images, let me see the substance of the world.
You are love. All is well.
Is the day to be one of sorrow, punctuated by relief?
Or is my life better seen as a condition of joy, with occasional trials?
Are my trials, Lord, even so hard? Are they instead challenges, puzzles, even games?
Even as the season may be a hard one, nonetheless the sun rises daily.
Let me wipe clean the window through which I look out on the world. It is no dark landscape but a bright noontide I see.
Am I asked to dig a ditch, or to unearth treasure?
I could not know. Yet my attitude, filled with self-regard, is obstinate.
Lord, I am preoccupied with my feelings and thoughts – useless shadows and mist that come and go without tether.
Let my hands grasp the shovel nonetheless, and set to work. Reward is coming, even if in the shape of a hole.
Morning dew. Mist. Quiet. Meet me here, Lord.
Some days I give you my troubles, others I receive power, on still others you grant relief. It is a new treasure every day.
Today’s gift, Lord, let me desire it.
Let me polish the floors in the hallway that leads others to you.
Let me stack the wood that others burn to keep themselves warm while they seek you in prayer.
Let me trim back the bushes that choke the pathway that leads from the dwelling where inside prays a lonely soul.
Grant me these small tasks, Lord, and let me bring every ounce of myself to them.
If I am to thank you for each moment, let me become willing. This pain, this woe, these trials – all vex me. Why, Lord, are your gifts so dreadfully wrapped?
I crawl when I could walk upright. I toil when I could rest. Perhaps I am the one who hides your treasures.
Grant me leniency with myself, Lord. I have tired myself so.