Prayers from the Island We’re Not an Island

We’re Not an Island

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When I drive over the bridge to the mainland, I am reminded that island life makes it easy to see ourselves as separate, remote from the “mainland of humanity”.  Sometimes it’s tempting to make the bridge an ideological divide and not a way of joining land to land.  Forgive me my arrogance in thinking I can leave the world’s problems behind me, that I can escape to an island.  We are all connected, if not by bridges, then by shared needs and demands.  You have insisted that we love one another, no matter how disconnected we may seem.  Please, Lord, help me stay connected with others so that I am never disconnected from you.  I pray that you direct me not to hide behind bridges, but to maintain and reinforce them with the girders of your love.

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Longer DaysLonger Days

The days are growing longer now, as the sun continues to stay overhead later into the evening and waken earlier each morning.  When I rise from bed, I can already see the blush of dawn and the sky is starting to lighten.  I could consult the newspaper and identify the exact difference each day’s length will be, but I prefer to discover the additional light myself, through my own experience.  The numbers may predict the hours of light, but it is God who causes the sun to shine, the moon to light the night, and the world to move at his ordering.  I thank you, Lord, for the daylight hours of work and play and for the night of peace and rest.  You have given us a world of order and stability whose regularity is a sign of your love, your creation, your power, and your glory. Amen.

Fog CloudsFog Clouds

  Another dense, foggy day.  Everything seems unsubstantial.  How strange the world looks, so soft and fuzzy, when I know from experience that it is hard and firm.  I hear cars inch past on the road, drivers hesitant to go fast in case a biker or an animal is ahead.  My faith is sometimes like that—there are times when I know it is strong and substantial, but other times I feel it becoming gauzy and slick, almost slipping from my grasp as I despair or fret.  It is then I most need your help, Dear Father, to assure me you are there with me, not only in the fog, but particularly in the fog!  Please help me to trust you when I can no longer see you, hear your voice, or feel your presence.  Be with me as I grope in the fog; may I draw comfort from your strength that is always extended to me, even in the gray fog of doubt.

Planting PansiesPlanting Pansies

 I planted a flat of pansies today, eager for spring’s splash of color in my heard.  The island consists entirely of sand and oyster shells, so maintaining soil is difficult.  I try to add topsoil, but it filters through the sand and vanishes.  I must work at growing flowers on the island, digging, replenishing, fertilizing and watering.

My religious life is like that too.  I can’t take for granted that an occasional watering or spading or fertilizing will suffice; I need to work at my faith, keeping it weeded and tended.  Too often I assume the seeds of faith planted as a child should be enough to last me all my life, but that’s not good enough.  Please forgive me, Father, when I neglect my garden of faith; help me to be a more faithful, diligent, and joyful gardener.