A moment of contemplation for yourself or on behalf of others on everything from the life-altering to the mundane.

Prayer: A conversation with The Higher Other who lives within each of us. An invitation to vent, to re-think, to ask, and to rest.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Prayers for Lent, Day 27: Give Up, Take On, Pray

“The way to misuse our possessions is to use them as an insurance against the morrow. Anxiety is always directed to the morrow, whereas goods are in the strictest sense meant to be used only for to-day.”  “...time is the most valuable thing that we have, because it is the most irrevocable.”
          ~ Dietrich Bonhoeffer*  1906-1945

          Two different quotes by the same person and his date on the U.S. Episcopal Calendar isn't until April 9, but wait, here's another: "We must be ready to allow ourselves to be interrupted by God.”  The plan was to wait for April 9 to use this piece but the plan was interrupted by yet another all day/evening Emergency Room run for an aged aunt who fell, yet again, and will be okay, for now...  The first quote had already been pasted before today's adventure. It seemed prescient, as the following two did as well so, why wait?  We only have NOW.  What will I do with it....what will you?

Holy God of Yesterday, Today, and (maybe) Tomorrow,
       The manna You give me today will not last until tomorrow so cajole me not to waste it, fritter it away, or misuse it.  For today I will give up the worry about what might come tomorrow.  I will take on seeing to the necessary business of the day but more importantly, letting those I care about KNOW, specifically, deliberately, intentionally, definitively, that I care. I will pray that we will each be part of each other's lives for much longer and for the gift of grace to let God interrupt my plans and understand, as Dietrich Bonhoeffer said also, “There is meaning in every journey that is unknown to the traveler.”  amen.

*Dietrich Bonhoeffer, theologian, Lutheran pastor, dissident anti-Nazi.  His book The Cost of Discipleship is considered a modern classic.  Polish by birth, he studied at the University of Tubingen and received his Bachelor's and Master's degrees and his Doctor of Theology at the University of Berlin.  He completed a second doctorate - all before the age of 25. He did post graduate study at Union Theological Seminary in New York and was introduced to and was profoundly inspired by the Abyssinian Baptist Church in Harlem.  His teachings and writings continue to inspire generations after his death.  With great angst but complete abhorrence of the Nazi dictatorship and violence, he was involved with the German Military Intelligence Office's plot to assassinate Adolf Hitler.  He was arrested by the Gestapo in 1943 and executed on April 9, 1945, 23 days before the German surrender. His "time is the most valuable thing we have..." comes from his Letters and Papers from Prison.  He never justified or excused his action but accepted that he was taking guilt upon himself as he wrote "when a man takes guilt upon himself in responsibility, he imputes his guilt to himself and no one else. He answers for it...Before other men he is justified by dire necessity; before himself he is acquitted by his conscience, but before God he hopes only for grace." There is so much more that can be said about Dietrich Bonhoeffer and all in his own words.

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