Monday, July 21, 2008

Monday Morning Offering - 4


Image: George Mendoza

Good morning, good God!

It's Monday, again, and you know -
somehow that just doesn't seem fair.
I mean - why can't the weekend be longer?

Come to think of it,
a lot of things don't seem fair, Lord:
things not fair in the world
and a lot of things not fair in my world...

I'm not saying that my problems
are as big as war and world hunger:
I understand the difference.

But I have hungers, too...
and I need peace, too...
and I pray for these things often,
and I pray hard...

And to tell you the truth, Lord,
I'm not sure you're listening...
I'm not sure you hear me...

Sometimes I wonder if you're so busy
with international crises and world hunger
that you don't have time to hear me
and answer my prayers...
(But then again,
I'm not sure you're doing that well
with war and the third world, either!)

Oops!
If I just crossed a line - I'm sorry!
I don't mean to complain about everything
but I'm just saying...

And I know world hunger
won't be resolved by a miracle
and that the end of war rests
in the hands and hearts and decisions
of nations - and folks like me...

And I know they say that
"God helps those who help themselves"
but I've tried to help myself with my own problems
but my own problems are, well, still my problems...

Am I whining, Lord?
Maybe - at least a little...
Forgive me for that, too...

I know what I need - at least I know what I want -
and sometimes I do feel sorry for myself
and I know that doesn't impress you
and some days even I realize it gets me nowhere!

When I whine I blind myself
to what I do have,
the blessings that are mine,
the gifts I have received...

(And just for the record, I want to remind you here:
I'm not asking to win the lottery
or become a movie star!
And I know you know that...
but sometimes it helps me to vent like that
and I figure, I hope, I pray you can take it...)

But back to what I have been given,
what I have received...
Why does it never seem enough?
Am I greedy? Do I want too much?
Do I ask for too much?

And how come it's YOU who gets to decide what's fair?
Even that seems unfair!

Or maybe you agree that things aren't fair in my life
but, for some reason I can't fathom,
you let the unfairness be...

Things weren't fair for you either, Jesus: I know that...
and maybe I should ponder that
a little more than I do...
The Cross...
Maybe I should remember more often
that I pray to a Savior who knows what it's like
when things just aren't fair...

Well, I guess I've wandered some distance
from making a Monday Morning Offering, Lord...
Can I ask you to forgive my Monday Morning Rant?
(And I can ask you to accept it, too?)

Help me, this Monday morning, Lord,
to offere you my thanks for what I have,
what I've received, what I've been given...

Help me remember each day this week
the history of your gifts to me over the years...
Help me to concentrate not on what I want and need
but to focus on how you've been generous to me...

And keep me from being jealous of what others have...

I offer you, Lord, my gratitude
for all the good gifts that are mine,
for the simplest ones and the greatest ones...

Make me grateful for each good gift,
no matter how small or large,
and keep me from counting how many gifts I have
and how many gifts I don't have...

You've given me the week ahead, Lord:
another week to grow in your love and grace...
Make me grateful for this week
and for whatever you might send my way in the days ahead...

Give me the confidence, strength and grace
to share with others what you've given me,
and remind me that in sharing my gifts
they are doubled, not halved...

And Lord, show me how to use what I already have
to make peace and to feed the hungry
in my own neighborhood and around the world...

I pray from my heart, Lord,
with all its gifts and needs
and ask you to bless my soul
and the souls of all I meet this week.

All good gifts come from your hand, Lord!

Thank you for hearing my Monday Morning Offering...

Amen.


We plow the fields and scatter the good seed on the land
But it is fed and watered by God's almighty hand.
He sends the snow in winter,
the warmth to swell the grain

The breezes and the sunshine, and soft refreshing rain.

All good gifts around us
Are sent from Heaven above.
Then thank the Lord, thank the Lord for all his love.

We thank thee then, O Father,
for all things bright and good:

The seed time and the harvest,
our life our health our food.

No gifts have we to offer for all thy love imparts
But that which thou desirest,
our humble thankful hearts.


All good gifts around us
Are sent from Heaven above.
Then thank the Lord, thank the Lord for all his love.

I really wanna thank you Lord!
All good gifts around us
Are sent from Heaven above.
Then thank the Lord, oh thank the Lord for all his love!

Music by Stephen Schwartz; lyrics from a German hymn written by Matthias Claudius, translated by Jane M. Campbell
-ConcordPastor

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

Wow - this seems like a prayer/conversation that I have with God (often) and then I feel guilty that I am not saying on praying more respectfully or vigilantly or something like that.

This past week was a tough one for me and my family and I know the next weeks will be too, for my mother was hospitalized and now needs rehab. It is hard to see the strong get weak, and harder for the child to need to guide and instruct their parent. A door has been opened for me that I must enter (though I really do not want to). This morning offering helps me realize that the conversations in my head with God (where I question and thank him - express frustration and love towards him) are okay.

Thank you for the offering.

-CL

Anonymous said...

Oh yes, I relate to this Morning Offering! It sounds like me and as long as I'm talking to God it still is praying. But, at some point I realize I'm treating God like a captive audience, he's pinned to the wall and he better listen to me! Maybe that's his answer, calling me back to some real form of communication with him. Thanks, God! Thank you, CP, for another great Morning Offering.
Cookie

Anna said...

At the cost of sounding like the 2 previous responses, I to can easily relate to your morning offering. It hits co close to home. I try to thank God every day for the gifts in my life, ask Him to help me be the person He wants me to be, and help me let go of the pain and burdens that I carry. My prayers are always the same, but my thoughts don't always agree with what I'm saying and trying so hard to hold onto. I hate to whine, I hate to say "poor me", but sometimes the burdens are too much to carry. I suppose, and I'll take some words from Footprints", It was then that I carried you". Often times I just don't feel that. But my prayers won't change, and I accept what troubles have come my way. God did not send me the burdens, we do that to ourselves and others. I just need to know He's in my corner to get through it.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like me as well. Life is not fair - how I have learned that well. It seems the same people get the same "good stuff" and then there are people like me whose life does not go smoothly- although sometimes I even find them hard to find. But at least I got another week and some people did not get that! Thanks, CP

newine said...

This is great!

Re. They say "God helps those who help themselves"...

...it's apocryphal... as you probably know. Sometimes (often?) He helps folks who can't or won't help themselves... or have simply given up in despair.

Anna said...

When times of trouble and despair control your life it is most difficult to feel God's presence and accept He is walking the path with you. We can find ourselves burdened beyond our capabilities to control them. That is when the ability to hang on to God's words is made difficult. Those are the times that all you can do is throw your arms up in the air and pray God sustains us. It's hard, and some days it's downright impossible.
Hang on...that's what we need to try to do. Thanks again for the prayer CP.

:o said...

I can relate to this prayer except for 'why can't the weekend be longer?'
no!
I realize my experience is kind of "backwards" compared to most people- weekends are very difficult for me...
Lately, my prayers have been for the safety and health of those people who are important in my life-
and apologies for my thoughts and behaviors-
I am very sad when I pray, especially at night in bed in the dark...