A Silver Lining
Once upon a time long, long ago, in another stage of life, I conducted a rather non-scientific, random, verbal survey of friends who had children under the age of four. My question was, “What were your kids’ first five or six words after ma-ma, da-da and wa-wa?” Would you be surprised to hear that the top five always included
!? It indicated to me that we learn to be self-centered at a very early age and, dare I say, at least a little selfish.
A Silver Lining.
One result of the change of pace of the last several months is that Pat and I have had the opportunity to share more devotional time together. We use the book
Hour By Hour,
which contains simple forms of the morning, noon, evening and compline liturgies for each day. Last Friday evening as we read and prayed, I had a very special “God moment” as we meditated on the collect appointed for Compline:
O God, your unfailing providence sustains the world we live in and the life we live: Watch over those both night and day, who work while others sleep, and grant that we may never forget that our common life depends upon each other’s toil; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Hour by Hour
As I sat in silence, I was overwhelmed by two phrases from the prayer. (1) “
your unfailing providence sustains the world we live in and the life we live
” and (2) “
grant that we may never forget that our common life depends upon each other’s toil.
” Once again, I was reminded that I “live and move and have my being” (Acts 17:28) because of that which God provides and, beyond that, I was reminded that I need you and we need each other. I cannot make it by myself!
In Genesis 2:18, in the creation story, we hear God’s proclamation that “
It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper as his partner
” and so we learn that it was
from the beginning
that our common life was ordained by God to be shared and our reality is that we do indeed depend upon each other’s toil. From the food I eat to the clothes I wear, everything around me is the result of the toil and ingenuity of someone else.
The next time you are feeling overly independent or if you ever fall into that childhood vocabulary mindset of ‘my, mine and no,’ I invite you to take a deep breath and pray the above collect. It’s a great reminder of our dependence on God and our need for one another.