COVID-19 has brought a lot of change and a lot of learning in the past several months. It has been a season of humility. This pandemic keeps bringing me face-to-face with to the fact that I am not in control.
Being the type A planner that I am Enneagram 1 for all you followers that lack of control is tailspin city for me.
Recently, in a wave of anxiety that stymied yet another attempt to fall asleep, I spent my time mulling over everything that still wasnt done, people I hadnt checked in on, decisions still to be made. (You know, pesky little things like school plans, how to get enough people interaction for the extroverts while still being safe and not putting anyone in danger.)
In the midst of this tailspin, came a holy moment. A question from Holy Spirit/God: Do you trust me?
The answer, if I am honest, is not really. Wasnt that what all my plans and lists were about? Why I couldnt fall asleep?
Then, a piece of a Celtic prayer came to mind: Bless the work that is done and the work that is to be.
We are never fully done or fully in control. There is no arriving at completion. Of check box control. Of a decision lasting with no re-dos. Thats not the way life works.
Normally theres enough stability to blink away that painful truth, but right now theres no ignoring its stare. Believe me, Ive had my fair share of toddler-level tantrums at this new reality, but theyre exhausting. And fighting this new reality doesnt help. I want to sleep again. I want to be able to flow in and out of the online, hybrid, in-person phases instead of each one being a hard stop that levels me.
Im pretty convinced that in order to do that Im going to have to learn trust God. The humility to gather up what is un-done at the end of the day and place it in Gods hands trusting that God will spend the evening sifting it all so that come morning I only pick up what is good for me and for others. After all, a piece of humility is not thinking of myself more highly than I ought like assuming my trying to manage and control it all is whats best and needed.
Glendale UMC is spending the month praying the following prayers. Many lines come from the Northumbria Communitys book of daily prayer. Were going to help each other figure out this trusting thing.
Wed love all the help we can get if you want to join us. And if youd like to talk about what youre learning praying these prayers, I want to hear your story. Pop over to 13550 Glendale Road Tuesday from 5:30-8 p.m. or Thursday 2-5 p.m. Ill be outside the church ready to chat.
Morning prayer for walking humbly with God:
Christ as light, guide us to the work you would do in us and through us
And will do in spite of us.
You who are I am who I am,
Teach us to be who we are.
Christ beside us on our left and our right,
Protect us from ourselves and from the powers of evil we encounter.
Help us to live this day as instruments of your love, Amen.
Calm me, O Lord, as You stilled the storm.
Still me, O Lord, keep me from harm.
Let all the tumult within me cease.
Enfold me, Lord, in Your peace.
Shield and sustain me this ___ [moment, meeting, project, encounter...]
Evening prayer for walking humbly with God:
God. [Mother, Father, Savior, Holy Spirit, Holy One & Holy Three, Shepherd, Potter, Creator, Sustainer, Redeemer, Giver of Sacred Worth, ___ ]
Bless the work that is done
And the work that is to be.
Bless the church that we are [person I am]
And the church that we will become. [person I will become]
Continue to work in us, through us, and in spite of us
So that your will may be done on earth as it is in heaven. Amen.
Kate Payton is pastor at Glendale United Methodist Church in Savage.
Originally posted here:
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