(I have been writing these letters for a number of years now, daily. I plan to continue to do so as my daily devotion. However, this will be the last letter I publish here for some time. Thank you for reading. Please get in touch with me if you are interested in a continuing spiritual dialogue.)
Dear God, let me know peace. Let me recognize it when it is present. Let me not create disruption and worry where there is already calm.
Thy will be done.
(Please let me know if you continue to find these letters helpful. I am considering stopping publishing them.)
Dear God, simple tasks crowd my day. Errands and chores. How high is my level of worry in comparison to the minor nature of the tasks! My emotional state is the same as it has been when facing much more trying circumstances.
Lord, let this recognition serve as a reminder that my emotions and reactions are themselves untethered from reality. How I feel bears no true relation to the events of the world. In fact my greatest self-delusion is that my feelings are a reflection of anything other than a fleeting inner storm.
Facing this day, I could have just as easily been contented at its simplicity, grateful that I have sufficient resources to meet it, elated that I am afforded time for my own pursuits, frustrated that my station is not more advanced, in despair at lost time. Any of these emotions would appear to me, while in their grip, as equally reasonable.
Lord, let me see through my feelings and perceive reality. Let me see you shining behind every event of the day.
Let me withhold my imperfect and childish judgment, and instead be grateful for all events, without imposing my own dramatic arc or interpretation upon them.
Let me quietly and gratefully set about to seek your guidance and to perform my duties as your servant.
Dear God, the day is strewn with trials. Challenges of all sizes and kinds. I so easily fall into this illusion, and see my life as filled with battle after battle, trouble after trouble.
In truth, for the most part I walk untouched. Problems remain distant. They do not come to pass, or they are resolved without effort on my part.
Lord, let me recognize the peace I already have. The enemies I face are merely shadows on a screen. They distract me.
This is the real challenge you set: to recognize your love for me, for all. Lord, let me see you, already here.
Dear God, I work so energetically at arranging my prayers to you just so. Are the words right, do I ask for the right things? Will these phrases bring me closer to you?
This is my self-importance speaking. For whom are these flowery words, after all? I utter them as if they are intended for an audience.
Lord, let me pray forthrightly. Let me not dress myself up in finery.
God, help me today.
Dear God, I do not even see, or notice, the gifts raining down upon me. I look for elation and excitement, and when my emotions fall short I perceive myself as being in the midst of trial. This excitement I seek, Lord, is its own kind of fixation. I so quickly abandon today’s experience because it seems familiar, in favor of tomorrow’s unknown. In this way, I throw away gift after gift, treasure after treasure.
Lord! Let me look around with clear eyes. The empty spaces in my day, far from being markers of dullness, are your greatest acts of grace. You provide time and space for my soul to heal and ease.
Lord, let me grow to live a life beyond the constant desire for excitement. Let me recognize peace for what it is, and not cast it aside unappreciated.
Let me be grateful today, Lord, for all these quiet gifts.
Dear God, let me be passive today. One who receives. Let me not make waves as I move through the day, let me harm no one.
When you assign my day’s burdens, let me not grumble nor gossip. Let me attract no notice. If I am recalled, let it be for my good cheer and willing labor.
Dear God, I say to myself that I live a life of you. I say to myself that I seek your guidance. I say to myself that I try to do your will in all things. Thus I fool myself.
Sitting here, quietly, do I truly seek you? Or do I simply sit, as if stillness itself will bring some virtue? In truth, it is more the latter.
I am faced with decisions and acts all throughout the day, yet I seek your voice only seldom. Why do I think answers will come in the quiet dawn, and not in the heat of action?
I ask when I do not need.
Lord, let me more completely rely upon you. Let me give every moment over to you. Let me fill even the most crowded times with efforts to reach you. Let me not be so precious with my worship, requiring the proper seat, setting, and attitude. Let my devotion become robust, powerful. Let my voice call out to you at all times, even from battle.
Lord, visit me as I seek to visit you.