First Thoughts, Monday November 17th

This is an important monday.  There is a busy and important week ahead.  I guess every week is important, I am just more aware of the importance of this one. I feel anxious… photo-6unsure… tired.

I am once again at my favorite early morning cafe in my neighborhood, same favorite booth with sparkly gold vinyl benches, same coffee in grumpy-man-face-mug.

This morning, I am sharing the seating area with a man who makes me nervous.  It is not a very large cafe.  He is fitfully standing up and pacing around and then jarringly returning to his seat near the door.  He talks aloud constantly with copious use of the f-word.

I try not to make eye-contact. I am not afraid that he will steal my laptop… but I am worried that he might suddenly grab it and throw it across the room.

Every few minutes someone comes in.  They order quickly and then leave.  I am the only one who stays.

How do I start my day in this world of anxiety and fear?  How can I find my own humanity… when I don’t regard every person I pass as fully human?

I don’t have those answers.  So today, I will do what I often do.  I will go to our ancestors.  I will lean on their wisdom.

A Prayer of Thomas Merton

My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going.

I do not see the road ahead of me.

I cannot know for certain where it will end.

Nor do I really know myself,

and the fact that I think I am following your will

does not mean that I am actually doing so.

But I believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you.

And I hope I have that desire in all that I am doing.

I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire.

And I know that if I do this you will lead me be the right road,

though I may know nothing about it.

Therefore will I trust you always

though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death.

I will not fear, for you are ever with me,

and you will never leave me to face my perils alone.

A Prayer of King David

The Lord is my shepherd I shall not want.

He makes me lie down in green pastures;

He leads me beside quiet waters.

He restores my soul;

He guides me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,

I fear no evil, for you are with me;

Your rod and your staff, they comfort me.

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;

You have anointed my head with oil;

My cup overflows.

Surely goodness and lovingkindness will follow me all the days of my life,

And I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.


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