Thursday, March 15, 2012

Breathe {inspiration for Wednesdays...even though it is Thursday}

As the rain falls around here, I find the appointments on my calendar changing...a lot.  I have had to reschedule quite a few photo sessions because, to be honest, nobody wants watch their hair go from great to a soggy mess within the course of a photo shoot!  So I am applying my adaptability skills; my flexibility is being tested and stretched all the more.  However, there are some days when I get grumpy and want life to go how I have scheduled I planned for it to go!!  The last few days were like that, and this morning a short piece of writing by Alan Paton (author of Cry the Beloved Country) brought a humble dose of perspective:

Lord, make me an instrument of Thy peace.  (St. Francis)

We pray for many things, for loved ones, for one sick, for one dying, for heath, for much-needed money.....for help in some situation that frightens or threatens us.  We pray especially hard - most of us - when our own safety or security (or plans..emphasis mine!) is threatened.

I myself have done this, but now I wish to place on record that I am in unrepayable debt to Francis of Assisi, for when I pray his prayer, or even remember it, my melancholy is dispelled, my self-pity comes to an end, my faith is restored, because of this majestic conception of what the work of a disciple should be.

So majestic is this conception that one dare no longer be sorry for oneself.  This world (the weather...emphasis mine!) ceases to be one's enemy and becomes the place where one lives and works and serves.  Life is no longer nasty, mean, brutish, and short, but becomes the time that ones needs to make it less nasty and mean, not only for others, but indeed also for oneself.

We are brought back instantaneously to the reality of our faith, that we are not passive recipients but active instruments....

Active instruments.  That is my calling...whether or not I am doing what I thought I would be doing, or what my calendar said I had planned.  If I believe there is a Divine plan to things (and I do!), then the rescheduling and cancelling of photo sessions is part of it.  And if those are a part of a larger scheme, then I guess I should ask what my response and part to it should be.  I, too, owe an unrepayable debt to Francis of Assisi.  Feeling sorry for myself or complaining is not an option.  He reminds me what my real calling is...and how to be an active instrument...rain or shine!

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love.
Where there is injury, pardon.
Where there is doubt, faith.
Where there is despair, hope.
Where there is darkness, light.
Where there is sadness, joy.
O Divine Master,
grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled, as to console;
to be understood, as to understand;
to be loved, as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive.
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying that we are born to Eternal Life.

Breathe, smile and go slowly.

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