Sunday, September 9, 2012

Prayers in the ordinary time

September 9, 2012

Good morning, friends,

When working at the basic discipline of self-examination, ideas that we have unconsciously (or carelessly) formed sometimes surface with startling clarity, emerging suddenly into words.

Annie and I sat in the glider one morning and watched the dawn bloom into day. Annie alternatively napped and checked for any unwary bird that paused on the lawn while I reviewed my inner journey through this last week. I became aware that I had been less urgent in my sense of prayer. I had prayed regularly with continuing assurance that God in Christ heard me. But sitting there quietly on the glider I suddenly became aware that—with wordless assumption—I had behaved emotionally as though prayer offered up in the routine of life had less importance than prayer emerging from crisis.

This behavior was not the result of ignorance. I have long understood that my need to live intentionally in the presence of God is constant, and that this need is determined by my humanness rather than the circumstances of my environment.

But knowing and doing are not the same. Kansas has used up a considerable store of energy. In this residual fatigue what I had thoughtlessly disregarded was the eternal changeless context of God’s care: He is no less desirous to be with me while I am napping than when I am waiting with Beth. My life changes. His love does not. He wants to be with me, tired or rested, in crisis or in boredom. His commitment to be with me is not triggered by my need but by His love.

FOR THE DARKNESS OF WAITING

For the darkness of waiting
of not knowing what is to come
of staying ready and quiet and attentive
we praise you, O God:

for the darkness and the light
are both alike to you.

For the darkness of staying silent
for the terror of having nothing to say
and for the greater terror
of needing to say nothing,
we praise you, O God:

for the darkness and the light
are both alike to you.

For the darkness of loving
in which it is safe to surrender
to let go of our self-protection
and to stop holding back our desire,
we praise you, O God:

for the darkness and the light
are both alike to you.

For the darkness of choosing
when you give us the moment
to speak, and act, and change,
and we cannot know what we have set in motion,
we praise you O God:

for the darkness and the light
are both alike to you.

For the darkness of hoping
in a world which longs for you,
for the wrestling and the labouring of all creation
for wholeness and justice and freedom,
we praise you O God:

for the darkness and the light
are both alike to you.

-Janet Morley

Thinking with you this week how difficult it is to keep God’s love the context of our lives, and how easily we focus instead on the journey before us.

See you next week.

Gay

“For the Darkness of Waiting” is taken from Janet Morley, All Desires Known, Expanded Edition. Harrisburg, PA.: Morehouse Publishing, l992, pp. 58-59.













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