A morning prayer ...
'Tis a big world you've managed, O God ... though I suppose, when measured by the eons, the planets and the stars, then maybe not so big after all.
But it's big to me.
Really big ... people and cultures and mountains and valleys and noises and nonsense, the African Veldt and the Black Sea, the remnants of war half buried in the fields of France, blue skies and magnificent men in their flying machines ... the Great Lakes and Mt. Rushmore ... and vast oceans and coral mountains.
And our stuff ... tons of it ... miles of it ... mingled in and mangled in ... wedged here and there, pushing and shoving, shouting and screaming ... a bloody mess at times ...
And our hopes, too, O LORD ... the heft of a good book and a cup of coffee ... the pleasure of a snuggled sheet curled around my neck, as I lay me down to sleep and pray ... something on TV to pass the time, or engage me ... yes, I know ... the middle class things that we dangle around ourselves to hush the fears of the soul, and so many envy us for the dangling in front of them, while they trudge dusty miles for a bucket of water and bag of rice.
What a world we've created in the midst of the world you've created.
I know, dear God, that you were pleased with what you did ... are you pleased with what we've done?
Some of it?
Sure ... I'm sure.
All of it?
So, help us, O LORD, to be the creators you intended, the caretakers of earth and wind ... to till the earth and grow tall corn and bright flowing wheat to feed both beast and man ... and man, and man, and man again ... and woman, and woman, and woman, again ... and child and child and child again ... in the millions of lists of endless begats ... how much we consume, O LORD; we take, and then take again and take some more, or so it seems to me.
I suppose you have to ... the alternative is darker than the present arrangement ... even for you, I'm sure.
So, in this world, so tiny to the universe, so big for me, I say Thanks ... and pray for all the good you can give to me and to mine, that we can be mindful of what counts, and then give ourselves to it, with all our might and main ...
And to you I belong.
I've said that a millions times over the years, dear God ... well, maybe not a million times, but often, in the worst of it, and in the best of it ... because I don't cherish the idea of belonging only to myself, or to anything else, for that matter.
Though I'm more than pleased to belong to some folks who love me dearly ... and I them ... we belong to one another, for sure, and if that's all there were, I'd be satisfied, sort of ... because it's not very long ... I think love is eternal, love needs a little more time to flourish, to grow and move and have some being, more than the span of my time, maybe even all time ...
I don't know ... is that selfish?
I suppose some of it is.
Yet, I hope we all belong to you, and that in the end, whatever that means, we'll be there, with you, as Jesus said, and he with us ... on a summer Sunday afternoon picnic, in the sun and warm tree shadows, with children playing and the sound of horseshoes and women and men laughing ... a bowl of potato salad and a glass of cold beer.
'Tis a big world, O God ... and small, too ... small enough for me, and big enough for you. Amen!