Dear God, if I stand still, I can hear the forest grow around me. The new leaves unfurl, new shoots press aside the soil to see light. I am one of many still growing.
What a miracle it is to look the world in the eye with equanimity!
Only yesterday, I blinked and looked away. Today my feet root into the ground and my face is mild. The wind blows my hair yet I do not turn my head.
O sweet Lord, let my roots grow stronger as the wind builds. You strengthened me yesterday for today’s storm.
Dear God, there is a well-worn path beside my dwelling. I walk it in the morning as I patrol the edges of my home area. Who made this path? Countless steps before me — but I, too, add my own.
This path leads to refreshment and the way is easy. I wear it smoother each morning.
But look! A branch has fallen in the night. I stop. The forest stands at my side. I hear song.
This pathway is convenience. Indeed I have infinite choice of direction if I but turn my feet.
Lord, let me hear your sweet song. Let me walk toward you even as you hide behind trees and take me into undiscovered meadows. These new grounds upon which I tread will wear smoother. Later, others may come to stop and wonder if they, too, might leave their path of convenience.
Dear God, I am seeking you. Let me not turn down blind alleys and look where I know you not to be. If I am to seek, let me do so where you may be found
O! How often do I fool myself through misdirected effort. I plow the fields in fallow land. I seek counsel from fools. I pile high tiny scraps of foil thinking it treasure.
Lord, let me do what is simple today. Show me where I am wasting my days.
Dear God, do I stand at a fork in the road? Let me see rightly. All these moment by moment choices – which are consequential?
Grant me persistence in seeking and doing your will. Grant me discernment over whether my choice is to go on or not – or whether my choice is to change my pathway.
I cannot see around the bend in this road. Grant me faith and willingness to walk forward nonetheless.
Dear God, let me see clearly today.
A meadow stretches before me: it is not a uniform green carpet. Let me see the edible leaves I seek.
I am assailed: let me hear the lesson being delivered.
Even in ease: let me see the gifts of your hand and thus build gratitude.
Let me be awake to what is truly happening around me.
Dear God, I beg you to let me live love, to bring love to my fellows. What, then, must I do? My thinking must be reordered. To live love, I must think love.
Let me harbor the kindest thoughts about all my fellows. Let me have forgiveness and compassion. Such a simple task, dear Lord. Yet so difficult.
Let this simple task burn away the gilding. My life and actions need not be ornate. The plain table will hold more than the carved and figured one, whose legs have been weakened by decoration.
Let me think simple love toward all today. Let me be the world’s steward.
Dear God, I stand tall and still, an oak. You have made my back strong, my shoulders broad, my feet rooted.
All around me the forest burns. My own leaves shrivel, smaller branches are consumed, bark chars.
Still I stand, Lord. The flames dwindle, the rains come, the creatures return. Smaller growth is gone. But in me, life still flows and buds burst, small leaves unfurl.
I alone do not hold up the forest, but you have built me to be one of your pillars. As life returns, let me smile upon the deer who consume my new branches. They need the nourishment and I can afford to stand still and tall.
All your strength, Lord, all your love – you give it to me to pass on to others. Let me shelter them from the rains.