I don’t need more to do. And most of what I want to accomplish doesn’t seem to happen with greater amounts of striving or work. I think this this is true of a few of you? Or at least, I hope I’m not alone.
We want to be different. We want patience and kindness and wisdom to take deep root in our psyche and being. We want to cast away envy, assumption, fear and insecurity. We want freedom in our life and in the lives of those dear to us. We want so much and yet we can’t seem to find the guaranteed 4-step path to transformation.
I awoke this morning composing emails, conversations and strategic planning meetings in my head. It did not seem a good morning to sit on my porch in silence, open my Bible, to sip coffee and anticipate what God might say. Surely, he would just say, “Get after it, you have a lot going on today. I get it. I’m God.”
But, instead of hearing God, that dadgum Martin Luther quote invaded my activating mind. Supposedly, the great monk turned married-church reformer-theologian once said, “I have so much to do that I shall spend the first three hours in prayer.”
Only monks in the time before social media say things like that, so I re-phrased his words for my reality: “I have so much to do that I shall spend the first 15 minutes in prayer.” Don’t judge. I’ll get to three hours on another day.
But, even 15 minutes seems daunting on a day like today. So I had to borrow a prayer. I do this often when my brain is writing scripts for everyone in my life. Here is the prayer I borrowed this morning. It’s from St. Patrick:
I arise today
Through the strength of heaven;
Light of the sun,
Splendor of fire,
Speed of lightning,
Swiftness of the wind,
Depth of the sea,
Stability of the earth,
Firmness of the rock.
I arise today
Through God’s strength to pilot me;
God’s might to uphold me,
God’s wisdom to guide me,
God’s eye to look before me,
God’s ear to hear me,
God’s word to speak for me,
God’s hand to guard me,
God’s way to lie before me,
God’s shield to protect me,
God’s hosts to save me
Afar and anear,
Alone or in a multitude.
Christ shield me today
Christ with me, Christ before me, Christ behind me,
Christ in me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ on my right, Christ on my left,
Christ when I lie down, Christ when I sit down,
Christ in the heart of everyone who thinks of me,
Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks of me,
Christ in the eye that sees me,
Christ in the ear that hears me.
I arise today
through the mighty strength
Of the Lord of creation.
If, like me, you sometimes need the prayers of others — here are my go-to books: The Psalms; A Diary of Private Prayer by John Baillie; Guerrillas of Grace by Ted Loder; Face to Face by Ken Boa.
Do you have go-tos that help you sit with God?