Empty Calls

Just before morning’s light, a whip-poor-will settles in the tree outside my window and begins his monotonous “whip-poor-will” cry. Again and again, breaking the stillness of the night, I hear his plaintive call. He never varies its pitch or rhythm—just the same notes repeated, echoing. Sometimes I worry that my prayer life resembles the monotonous cry of that bird. I bring with me in preparation for my talk with God a laundry list of “Please do this,” and “Complaints I want you to hear,” and “ Here’s how I think these things should be handled.” Then I wonder why my time with God seems sterile and fruitless. Lord, it’s difficult sometimes for me to think and feel what I am saying to you; my mind wanders as I touch on various subjects and I lose focus. Please forgive me when I waste my prayer time. Help me to attend to our time together, keep my heart, mind and spirit in your reach and help me learn to be silent to hear your responses. Forgive my empty calls in the night. Amen.

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Dolphins Work Together to Hunt

SynchronizedSynchronized

Dolphins Work Together to Hunt Today I watched the dolphins corner a school of fish, leaping in small circles and capturing their prey.  Sea birds circled above them, swooping down for fish that came too close to the surface, enjoying the ‘seconds’  from the dolphins’ hunt.  They seemed to cooperate in a synchronized dance, working together in harmony as if they were one body.  How beautiful it is when Christians work together in the same way, cooperating in the tasks they’ve assumed, deferring to one another, celebrating their united aims.  I regret sometimes this unity seems far away.  Forgive us, Father, when we cause strife and disharmony in your church; help us to work together with one another in Christian love and forgiveness.  May we be part of the Dance of Love you’ve designed for us. Amen.

 

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.

Patiently WaitingPatiently Waiting

  I watched a sandpiper this morning as he raced a ghost crab to its hole.  Patiently, patiently, he stood beside the hole long after the crab disappeared, not moving his body, absolutely still.  He waited for a long time, staring quietly at the vacant hole.  I stood and watched, awed by the sandpiper’s suspension of movement.  When the crab suddenly reappeared, certain the bird had vanished, he was quickly gobbled up.  I think of my own impatience, how often I give God my timetables, my schedules, my deadlines and ask Him to move on my terms.  I need, like that sandpiper, to learn patience.  Please, God, may I wait at your side, knowing that your timetable is better than mine.  Please teach me to be patient; forgive me my foolish demands. Let me be still and know that you are God. Amen.