My tortured will seeks peace as the dawn light reaches into my room.
When I ask for peace, what will come? Will it be relief from woe, absence of conflict, the ending of war? What will come, in place of these things?
Let me spread peace, Lord, tangible peace.
When walking, and I see sticks on the ground, let me not kick them to the side but clear the way with care.
Let me not leave my garments in a heap, but fold and hang them.
The day is filled with choice upon choice. Let me approach each as one who is devoted to the craft of living.
When I reflect on the day, let it have been filled with care and devotion, moment by moment.
Let it start with these sticks.
I sought you on windswept plains, on mountaintops, in extreme circumstances. I thought I would find you on the edge of the world.
Instead, you came to me in this small room, where I sit hidden. Dawn does not trouble me here, nor the rains.
You crept in while I sat dejected and broken.
Let me seek not the exhilaration of the mountain top, but your sweet whispering in my closet.
Come to me, Lord.
I age; am I the same ship that set sail many years ago? The mast, timber, and rigging have been replaced, yet still I struggle with the winds and list. Point me east and still I drift.
Should I not have arrived? Should my ways not by now be straight?
So much repair remains.
Lord, you give me the dawn like a shiny new coin. My chores are the same as ever and it is the same body I bring to each one.
How many times have I swept this floor? Let me rediscover the broom.
I shout into the wind, and my voice is carried off into the woods.
Stepping through the crowd in the square, I murmur of your love for us, and one by one my fellows awake. Soon we are together, rapt at attention.
Is it the wind that has the power to silence, or your word which wakes?
I set out walking, to carry a needed message to my fellows in the village across the valley. I know that some miles hence I will need to cross the river, swollen with the spring rains.
With each step, I worry, and worry, and worry. How shall I cross? I must cross. What if I fail? What if my message is undelivered?
The path meets the river. A string of tall boulders juts from the water. Each an easy hop away from its neighbor, a simple continuation of this well-worn path. They were there all along. Why did I not trust that you had placed for me a means of crossing?
Lord, let me refuse tomorrow’s worry as I walk your road today.
Drop by drop, belief crept upon me and the cistern filled.
In a parched, arid land I barely saw the morning dew for the gift it was. I dug a pit, hoping the rains might fill it.
I sought and I sought, but I never found you, Lord. Instead, you found me and pressed a cup to my lips.
O sweet nectar! There are all along yet unseen in my frantic digging and waiting.
Is all well?
All is well.
Is the day to be filled with enemies to evade? Obstacles to avoid?
O what an impoverished outlook, to seek absence of woe as my highest aim!
Let me laugh, happy warrior, as each challenge presents. If I am to step around a bear pit, too weak to leap, let me do so nimbly and with a smile.
These scores who gather in the square, just outside my door, for whom do they wait?
What fears and terrors, Lord, are in these several hearts? I know the way to a nearby meadow, but few will budge.
Here we will rest, on a safe and sunlit lawn. Let me pass cheer through the crowd, that the terrified may unclench their jaws.
The meadow will wait until tomorrow. Let me heal with love today.
Fear grips my throat in the dawn, yet I deny myself your comfort out of worry that tomorrow may be worse. How dare I squander your gifts, which I may need later, on this fleeting trouble?
Each day is sufficient unto itself. Let me use all you supply today; it is not meant to be hoarded.
Therefore let me say: Lord, help me.