“Good for you! Reading your bible where and while you can!” Brittany said brightly.
I was taken aback by the cheerful comment. My pocket ESV was clearly displayed in the passenger seat of my minivan. I was in the car rider line for preschool. My two sons were in the back of the van waiting to go in. I was glad of the praise and attention yet felt vulnerable at the comment.
In my most recent Confession, my priest encouraged me to lean into the Psalms. They’re full of emotion, much like me. Sometimes the Psalms can articulate emotions when I can only feel them.
I took his advice with baby steps. I kept my bible in the car and skimmed one psalm each morning. I looked for a line or two that felt like my fingerprint. I read that verse each time I got in and out of the car throughout the day. By night, I could recall the whisper and theme of that one verse.
The warmth of the words felt like hope on a summer breeze. And the habit was very effective. It felt like a text from my Maker. And I like getting short, direct, loving text messages.
I responded to Brittany warmly. We smiled as the children climbed out of the van, and we parted ways. Inside, I treasured her words. They reminded me that I was vulnerable but not alone. They reminded me that I was brave.
Another morning ritual also comes from a priest. In Confession, we discussed my prayer habits. Again, we started with baby steps, and he directed me to this prayer of St. Philaret of Moscow.
O Lord, grant me to greet the coming day in peace. Help me in all things to rely upon Your holy will. In every hour of the day reveal Your will to me. Bless my dealings with all who surround me. Teach me to treat all that comes to me throughout the day with peace of soul, and with the firm conviction that Your will governs all. In all my deeds and words guide my thoughts and feelings. In unforeseen events let me not forget that all are sent by You. Teach me to act firmly and wisely, without embittering or embarrassing others. Give me strength to bear the fatigue of this coming day with all that it will bring. Direct my will, teach me to pray, pray You Yourself in me. Amen.
I created mobile background of this prayer, breaking it into bite-sized sections. All are available to download free by clicking this link.