Unfolding Truth, who often is hidden in desolate places,
Lead us to further knowledge of your ways in this moment of quiet. Help us to do nothing in order to find everything; not to squander our precious time, but to allow you to reveal the rhythm of our steps for this day. Comfort all who are dealing with unknown futures. Restore our hope in finding the way that imparts life out of death. Remind us of your goodness. Amen.
Light of Dawn, who guides us through this day,
Slow down our pace, calm us with your silent Presence. Often, we travel over the ground too quickly. We forget to attend to the unfolding mystery around us. Remind us once again that renewal comes through forgiveness, discomfort is relieved by compassion, and that faith comes with increasing trust in all that lies beyond ourselves. Amen.
Servant of All, whose generous mercy creates unity,
Center us through this moment of silence. Let all else fall away except for an awareness of your Presence. Cleanse us with the purity of your love. Open our hands to surrender the things we grasp. Widen our hearts to release one another from intolerance. Create renewal within our communities through paths of acceptance and trust. Amen.
I remember when our first son was born. I would get up in the morning with a list of 20 things that needed to be done that day and when 11pm rolled around, I had accomplished one or two. He is 27 years old now with three younger brothers. I look back and treasure those early years. There is nothing better than being interrupted. God’s ways are always so much better than our own.
A new baby is a relatively pleasant distraction for most of us. Parenting, for me, has been a rich source of grace. My children were and still are reflections of truth for me, and I meet Christ in and through them. More mundane distractions that require our attention are annoyances like the broken washer machine, the computer crash or a mean neighbor. When they are resolved we have usually learned a new skill, or made a new friend. More difficult things that take our full time and energy like an illness, a job loss, or a broken relationship, are problematic in finding the treasure or benefit. I believe that our prayers to God are immeasurable in benefit even when healing and reconciliation are not the answers we receive.
But here’s the thing: distractions take us to outside sources looking for answers. Perhaps, we need to look within ourselves. When we look deep within, we find a source of love and grace that cannot be found in any medication, counselor or job. We find that in the midst of our human existence there is a divine Presence. When this happens, we begin to offer ourselves in radical thanksgiving as we navigate medical treatments, job interviews, and broken relationships. Yes, God is over and above us, but God is also far beyond deep within us. Try it today, when interrupted, if some distraction arises; breathe deeply, and pause, listen to your heart, look within your soul, and you will find that what you need is already there. Blessed are the distracted as they find the true source of life.
(Photo: Fingal’s Cave on Staffa off the coast of Scotland where it is said Mendelssohn wrote the Hebrides Overture)