Up in the middle of the night. All is quiet...except my mind! All the dark traps of the day, the hindrances to living my life, obstacles to "running my lap in the race of faith," prey upon me...uglinesses like:
She hates me! Her friends hate me too!
I'm overwhelmed. I can't do it! I'm going to fail!
I'm so depressed. I think I may go over the edge!
I might as well be invisible...no one understands!
Why is she jealous of me...I'm not trying to compete, just live my life!
Then the prayer, that I've known since childhood, rises up from within:
Lord, make me an instrument of thy peace. Where there is hatred, let me sow love; Where there is injury, pardon; Where there is doubt, faith; Where there is despair, hope; Where there is darkness, light; Where there is sadness, joy.
O divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek To be consoled as to console, To be understood as to understand, To be loved as to love; For it is in giving that we receive; It is in pardoning that we are pardoned; It is in dying that we are born to eternal life. [prayer of St Francis of Assisi]
I am renewed afresh to let You be You in and through me in this world! Amen.
It is better to light a candle than to curse the darkness. (author unknown*)
Jesus said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” John 8:12 ESV
[*Several people are associated with this proverbial saying, notably John F. Kennedy. It was first spoken in public by Peter Benenson, the English lawyer and founder of Amnesty International, at a Human Rights Day ceremony on 10th December 1961. The candle circled by barbed wire has since become the society's emblem.]