Thursday, February 22, 2007

Perspective

Heavenly Father,

Help me remember that the jerk who cut me off in traffic last night might be a single mother who worked nine hours that day and is rushing home to cook dinner, help with homework, do the laundry and spend a few precious moments with her children. Remind my heart to be grateful for the life that you have portioned to me.

Help me to teach my children in all that I do, be it while giving them a bath; while reading a book together; while singing in the car; while doing the dishes; while conjoling them out of bed in the morning; while playing a game of Phase 10; or while brushing our teeth. Let me use every opportunity to help them to see You more clearly in their lives.

Help me to remember that the pierced, tattooed, disinterested young man who can't make change correctly may be a worried 19-year-old college student, balancing his apprehension over final exams with his fear of not getting his student loans for next semester. Thank you God for giving me opportunities to make something of myself - as a wife, a mother, an employee and a friend.

Teach me to assume the best in everyone, to not judge a situation in a moment's glance and to see the goodness in ugly situations. Give me a spirit of hope not only in You, but in others too.

Remind me, Lord, that the scary-looking vagabond begging for money in the same spot every day is still a person who holds a bit of You inside of him. Remind me that I am no better than him in any way. "What you have done for one of these..." Help me to do for you as you have done for me without worrying about the money given or how that money will be spent.

Help me to remember that the old couple walking annoyingly slow through the store aisles and blocking my shopping progress might be savoring this moment, knowing that, based on the biopsy report she got back last week, this will be the last year that they go shopping together. Create in me a spirit that appreciates the here and now with my family, not a spirit that is living for tomorrow.

Scrub every bit of envy or jealousy from my heart. Help me not to value things above You. Teach me contentment and gratitude for the blessings that you have so graciously given to me. Let me honor you with all of "my" possessions, knowing that I really own nothing in the whole scheme of things.

Open my eyes to the people around me and give me a nudge (push) when I fail to move. Give me courage to speak or wisdom to remain silent, whatever is called for in the case. And if someone thanks me for any help I may have given, let my lips give You praise and glory.

Take all bitterness and anger from me. Let me not give a foothold such as these to satan. When the temptation to gossip or criticize becomes too strong, fill my mouth with uplifting words. And if I choose to ignore those uplifting words, then create a way to shut my mouth until my tongue can be mastered again.

Help me to see my children as precious gifts to be loved and cherished. Help me to love and to nurture them the way that you love and nurture me when I make a mess of my life, rather than loosing my temper when they make a mess. Give me a servant's heart in serving them, and let it be an honor to your name.

Help me to remember that I have no need to worry about anything. You have promised your protection and provisions. And I know you keep your promises... So teach me to live my life with a full knowledge that I don't have to ponder on what I'll eat or what I'll drink or where I'll live or what I'll wear.

Remind me that your son came to be a sacrifice for all. This includes the drug-addicted, the homeless, the adulturous spouse, the ugly, the beautiful, the depressed, the rich, the poor, the young, the old and the mother who is loosing her mind. Thank you God for that last inclusion...

Heavenly Father, remind me each day that, of all the gifts you give me, the greatest gift is love. It is not enough to share that love with those I hold dear. Open my heart not to just those who are close to me, but to all humanity. Let me be slow to judge and quick to forgive, show patience, empathy and love. Make less of me and more of you in my heart.

Amen.

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