Prayers from the Island Beware of Splinters!

Beware of Splinters!

The sign posted near the boardwalk warns that there is construction going on; “Beware of Splinters” it proclaims.  I lift my feet as I walk, careful not to slide them along in a slouchy gait that has become habitual.  Why, I wonder, do I too often drag my feet along, as if they’re heavy to raise?  Am I like that in my daily religious walk as well, sliding along, picking up splinters and then wondering why my feet are sore?  Perhaps I am, moving heavily through my days, finding petty matters to complain about, and whining when everything isn’t as I might like.  Forgive me, Lord, for picking up splinters instead of moving through the day and the gifts you’ve given me with joy and wonder.  Help me raise my feet and my spirits in response to your unending goodness. Amen.

Related Post

Fire Alert!Fire Alert!

We desperately need rain on the island. Each day the fire danger increases, and at night I smell wisps of smoke from fires burning on the mainland. Neighbors have bushwhacked their property, hoping to eliminate dry brush before a fire approaches. Warning signs are posted everywhere and the evening news carries reports on fire status. And yet, this morning as I drove to the grocery store, I saw a driver ahead of me toss a lighted cigarette from his car, oblivious of the danger. My first inclination was incredulous anger, but then I wondered about my own behavior. Do I carelessly toss burning embers when I gossip and criticize, when I fail to uplift and support others in their search for faith? Do I fan smoking tinder when I rush to identify others’ weaknesses and feel gleeful at their failures? Do I offer them temptation under the guise of “It’s only a small piece” or “Surely one more won’t hurt”. Am I more concerned about being liked than about being God’s? Am I responsible for human fires that rage in my wake because I have led others into temptation? Forgive me, Father, when I am careless with the lives of others. Please help me control my own behavior and act always with patient, forgiving love. Amen.

Blending InBlending In

This afternoon I was watering a pot of petunias on the back deck when out hopped a frog, looking a bit annoyed at the soaking he suffered.  It was no surprise I’d missed seeing him, so perfectly did he blend in with the background.  His green/brown/gray mottled skin exactly matched the stems and leaves of the plant, enabling him to live there generally undetected.  Certainly this is no accident; in the animal world it’s not uncommon for creatures to come to resemble their environment.  I wonder about myself.  Have I come to resemble the people and situations with whom I spend my life?  Do I make an effort to try and seek out those people who will offer me a pattern of behavior that is Christ-like, or do I settle for something less, in an effort to be popular?  Please help me, Lord, to place myself against the example of your Son and try as much as possible to duplicate his love, forgiveness and compassion.  May I come to resemble the image of you in which I was created. Amen.

Living WaterLiving Water

How blessed I am to be living near water!  It cools us in the summer and moderates winter’s cold.  Its breezes keep the air fresh, its waves comfort me in the dark, and its beauty delights my vision.  I think of all the water symbolism in the Bible—forgiveness, refreshment, cleansing, and life itself.  Christ walked on the water, fished in the water, changed water into wine, baptized with water, and ultimately claimed to be the Living Water.  I thank you, Lord, not only for the water that surrounds me, but also for the life-giving water of your word.  May I drink deeply and often from its cleansing, flowing stream. Amen.