Thursday, June 30, 2011

Youth&Stupidity; Patient endurance

Daytime Prayer has a character that is different from the two principle hours of Morning and Evening Prayer.  We tend to overlook it because (if you're like me) it is easy to rush through daytime prayer--it's short, after all, and has fewer of those grand psalms of praise, thanksgiving, repentance, or woe+trust. It's more routine, a brief pause from the working day, and if we even bother to say it at all, we all too often don't take much time to reflect on it. We just get back to work after it's done.

At least, that's how it is for me. Maybe the rest of you are different.

But Daytime Prayer is exactly what we need to dwell on, because it's special character seems to be about the practical life. About virtue. About valuing God's law. About putting one foot in front of the other in order to make it to evening, and in the process sanctify our work, even if it is nothing to to set down in the annals of Great and Holy Deeds.

In today's Daytime Prayer, one of the psalm prayers asks God not to remember the sins of our youth and stupidity, but remember us with your love.   We could use that prayer either to repent again of some truly stupid things done years ago, OR we could consider ourselves, from the view of eternity, to still be in that careless and ignorant phase of our existence. In either case, I think of how I  view the absurd things my kids have done over the years--with indulgence and forgiveness, hoping they'll get it right eventually. May the Lord be thus with me.

The concluding prayer for midafternoon reminds us of the perfect antidote to youthfully stupid response to life's ups and downs. A perfect workaday prayer.

help us to follow the example
of your Son’s patience and endurance.
May we face all life’s difficulties
with confidence and faith.
Grant this through Christ our Lord.