Oh, life has been full of losses lately...deaths, illnesses, failure. And these during and after times of refreshment with loved ones and beaches and the simplicity of Amish peaceful countryside.
As a result, I am reflecting, revisiting, and responding in new ways to previous thoughts...some of which have already been shared. Forgive me. But if you would like to listen in, here is my meditation:
Life is a mix, a conglomeration.
There is confusion and clarity, flailing and focus, excruciating pain and exquisite peace.
There is bitterness and sweetness, strength and fragility, "rugged seas" and "smooth sailing."
As Paul Lawrence Dunbar so aptly expresses in his poem Life:
A crust of bread and a corner to sleep in,
A minute to smile and an hour to weep in,
A pint of joy to a peck of trouble,
And never a laugh but the moans come double;
And that is life!
A crust and a corner that love makes precious,
With a smile to warm and the tears to refresh us;
And joy seems sweeter when cares come after,
And a moan is the finest of foils for laughter;
And that is life!
But during recent years, the Lord has given me my way to pray as I awaken each morning no matter the circumstances surrounding me.
My prayer, rising up into my soul from the Spirit as I barely even come to consciousness, resets the "arrow" of my day because it embraces what has become a personalized life verse:
[Jan], when she had served the purpose of God in her generation, fell asleep...
And my prayer reflects what our brother, David Bolton in his glorious blog "Christ Centered Christianity," so deeply and beautifully observes of a believer committed to serving the eternal purpose of God:
When a man’s life becomes consecrated and committed to living, serving, and laboring for God’s supreme purpose, it...becomes marked with certain distinctive characteristics. First and foremost, it becomes purposeful and focused...It is marked by a persistent and patient zeal in a purposeful, settled direction....He is further marked by joyfulness of heart and sagacity of mind as he follows the good, wise, all-glorious, enduring purpose of his Father...
And I've noticed just that in my own life since I've adopted my life verse expressed in my morning prayer...a new focus, a stability, a fresh joy, a wise understanding.
So here is my prayer. Make it your own if you like.
But more than that, may my prayer encourage you to turn to your Lord in the very beginnings of your day. Give yourself to Him for whatever He may give to you. He is worthy of no less. And you are needing nothing more to set the "arrow" for your own day.
O God, You are my King; I am Your servant.
I serve at Your pleasure and for Your purpose today, O my Father.
Let Your fullness unfold in my life today, O my Lord Jesus.
Live through me, love through me, serve through me, O Spirit of the Living and Indwelling Christ.