Yesterday in church I had problems on my mind, thoughts that displaced praise and worship, thoughts that held me fast to the things of this world. During my beach walk, I watched a sea tern prepare to fly. He jumped slightly into the wind, and then raised his feet back flat, severing all ties with the earth. Suddenly I realized that is exactly what I must do when I approach God; I must greet him with a leap of faith and with my thoughts of this world left behind. Of course I will pray for counsel and guidance, for help and strength, but I must, like that bird, allow my spirit to reach out for God’s presence, not tying myself to the snares and traps of this world. I can’t solve my problems myself because they enmesh me in their own complexity. Like that bird, I have to jump as an act of faith into God’s presence, concentrating on him and his will for my life. Forgive me, Father, when I approach you with a mind already filled with my own thoughts. Help me empty myself of all but praise and gratitude, coming before you in trust and faith. Amen.