I seek improved conditions.
I walk the grounds and tidy the edges. I arrange the shelves. Order will make improvement, so I think.
It is my unruly mind and self-directed inner life that need such rearrangement. Let me walk the perimeter of my own thoughts – which ones are out of order? Where are the weeds in my intentions? Let me root them out.
Let a new soul greet the world, changed to meet conditions.
I walk through your bounty, worrying what is in my storehouse at home. Everywhere there is supply, yet I am a miser.
Of what am I afraid? When I am thirsty, there will be a stream. I am always met with supply.
Deepen my trust in you, Lord.
Just as I avoid living in tomorrow, so too let me avoid living in hours hence. Let me be in this moment, breathing in and out.
Yet here in the dawn, I already worry over noontime and beyond. It is hours away, and I ignore the leaves that have blown in overnight, which now need sweeping.
In fear of the next hour, I squander my current minutes in self-pity.
Lord, grant me acceptance of this moment.
Creatures have eaten at my garden overnight. My rooms have fallen into disarray. The rains have come through the open windows. The fire has died and must be relit.
Look, you have given me ways to occupy my time! Lord, let me smile as I reach for the trowel.
My life is a life of gifts.
Open my eyes today, Lord, to how simple it may be to act on your will. Let me not build complex machines of industry, but move instead through plain effort.
Let me offer up the most ordinary chores to you. As I sweep the floor of my dwelling, as I replace items to their spaces, as I walk and inspect the grounds — let these simple tasks be my devotion.
Shall I be tempted to build grand structures? Grant me instead, Lord, plain simplicity in my labors.
Fill my spirit, even as my body is weak.
In pain, of what might I be grateful? In penury, of what give thanks? Place these things in my thoughts.
Aching and spent, let me yet more strongly find reasons to sing praise.
Challenge comes to me: difficult talks that require diplomacy.
Burdens come to me: heavy loads that require strength.
Distraction comes to me: episodes that call my vanity and pride.
Lord, you grant me wherewithal to meet all this and more. At day’s end I will look back and see all the ways your gifts will have allowed me to match my trials.
Shall I then be sullen? Let me laugh with joyful gratitude at all the ways you buoy me.