Our host, Karen, offered a prayer for us to consider before sharing our posts this month:
I bind unto myself today
the virtues of the starlit heaven
the glorious sun's life-giving ray,
the whiteness of the moon at even,
the flashing of the lightning free,
the whirling wind's tempestuous shocks,
the stable earth, the deep salt sea,
around the old eternal rocks.
I bind unto myself today
the power of God to hold and lead,
His eye to watch, His might to stay,
His ear to hearken to my need,
the wisdom of my God to teach,
His hand to guide, His shield to ward;
the word of God to give me speech,
His heavenly host to be my guard.
- from the Northumbria Community
As beautiful as the prayer is, I struggled to see a lesson in it. I didn't see a reflection piece in a prayer in which the speaker has made this commitment.
I've been quite fretful in these past years. I've worried over Covid, then vaccines, then boosters, divided politics, the behavior of school children, and now another war before the world has cleaned up after the past several. There is no shortage of things for any of us to worry over. I sometimes joke with one of my very anxious kiddos that I'll take their top worry for free! I don't charge. I'll worry over that stinker of a worry like a pro. The only hitch is, that they can't have that worry back. They have to let it go for good.
This is, of course, what God is urging of me.
Years ago, I was in professional development when I began asking quite a few "what if" questions just as my middle school students do. After I sputtered off several questions, the leader simply invited me to "trust the process." That was a moment I'll never forget. The leader was very quiet, and patient and welcomed my questions. The answer to them was...trust the process of what I was learning.
Lent has been a productive time for me. My church publishes a devotional each year written by members of our congregation. It is beautiful and funny and painful and wonderful to read. I draw closer to my church family as I read about the ways that they have approached life with God's help. I've used these devotions as writing prompts and the reward has been rich (OK, some giggles and tears too).
When I re-read the prayer above I realize I don't have to find a lesson. All I need to do is trust the process. Trust the beauty of the wonders of nature as true, trust the power of God to hold and lead, watch and hear, hearken and guide and protect. The invitation is there. I simply need to relax into it.
I need to trust the process. And, not take that worry back. Amen.