"O God our Creator,
your kindness has brought us
the gift of a new morning.
Help us to leave yesterday,
and not to covet tomorrow
but to accept the uniqueness of today."
--From an order for morning prayer from "A Wee Worship Book"
"What time is it? Now! Where am I? Here!"
--Jon Bailey, my uncle-in-law
do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring worries of its
own. Today's trouble is enough for today." --Matthew 6:34
My apologies for the long gap since my
last meditation. It's been about two months! I hope to resume posting
them more regularly now.
Last week, a team from our church headed
out on a mission trip. We spent a few days in Lewis County, WA doing
repair work on the homes of people who experienced a devastating flood
in December 2007 and then another (though not as big) flood in January
2009. Each day, before our team headed out to work, we paused for a
brief time of prayer. We used an order for morning prayer from the
Celtic Christian tradition composed by the Iona Community's Wild Goose
The words that we prayed each morning (excerpted above) have been
clinging to my heart and mind since our return. How hard I find it to
leave yesterday behind! How hard I find it not to lean into tomorrow
before today has ended! This simple prayer, which did not particularly
catch my attention the first day, after repeated exposure, eventually
wiggled into my consciousness. Now I am noticing anew the ways that I
overlook the opportunities of the present moment. Each day is, indeed,
unique. Each day has hidden within it opportunities to learn, to grow,
to love, to cry, to serve, to go deeper (and to make mistakes!) that are
unique to that day. One of the most difficult spiritual disciplines for
many of us is simply being where we are.
Though I did not include it above, the prayer continues, "...take
from us what we need to carry no longer, so that we may be free again to
choose to serve you and to be served by each other..." What a helpful
way to start a new day--prayerfully acknowledging the baggage we drag
along with us and asking God to relieve us of our burden so that we can
be free to love and serve. It's like praying, at the start of the day,
"OK, God, here's the grudge I've been clinging to. Please take it so
that I can be free of it!" or "OK, God, here's the anxiety I am feeling
about my job/relationship/finances. Please take what I don't need to
carry anymore so I can be free and available to others."
I'm thinking that this would be a great way to start every day (not
just during a mission trip), to pray simply "Free me for TODAY, O God!"
Blessings on you,