In many ways this summer has been a good time away for me, a time for resting and grieving, but I find myself back to work this week, jarred to reality by the cacophony of voices all clamoring for my immediate attention. The transition, though good, has been hard. The difficulty lies in returning as a completely different person to a very familiar task, only now I am accompanied by the fear of slipping into a my usual patterns of sin.
I sat on my back porch this morning drinking tea, enjoying the coolness of a late summer morning despite being overwhelmed by this week. This prayer by Thomas Merton was perfect:
The way You have laid before me is an easy way, compared with the hard way of my own will which leads back to Egypt and to bricks without straw.I am praying this year to be saved from myself, from my poisonous urge for change just for the sake of change. I am praying for the grace to dwell richly where I am, to find holiness in the ritual of the mundane, and to find rest regardless of my circumstances. Amen and amen.
If You allow people to praise me, I shall not worry. If you let them blame me, I shall worry even less. If you send me work, I shall embrace it with joy. It shall be rest to me because it is your will. If you send me rest, I will rest in You. Only save me from myself. Save me from my own, private, poisonous urge to change everything, to act without reason, to move for movement's sake, to unsettle everything that you have ordained.
Let me rest in Your will and be silent. Then the light of your joy will warm my life. Its fire will burn in my heart and shine for your glory. This is what I live for. Amen, amen.