Image: George Mendoza
Good morning, good God!
I'm on vacation, Lord:
grateful for the time off, the time away
and grateful, too, for the work that's mine to do,
my share in the work that is always yours...
I'm grateful for my staff
and parish ministers
whose good hearts and hands
hold gently and securely
the people you've entrusted to our care;
and for a brother priest from Uganda
who's come to stand at your Tables
of Word and Sacrament
in my parish while I'm away...
I pray this morning, Lord,
for those who have lost a job
and seek work
and for those who are overworked
and need rest...
Let me not take for granted, Lord,
the work that is mine
and this time for rest, relaxation
and refreshment in your Spirit...
It takes time to relax,
to let the whirring and spinning within
slow down and come to a peaceful place and pace:
help me find that place, Lord...
I wonder, Lord:
what pace do you want us to keep?
what speed do you mean for us to maintain?
how tired do you expect us to become
in doing the work, whatever it might be,
you've placed in our hands?
I'm reminded of the times you rested, Lord:
when you went away from the crowds:
out of the city, into the desert,
up the mountain, to the other side of the sea,
off by yourself or with just a few friends,
I wonder at how you waited some 30 years
before beginning the work you came to do...
How fast do you want us to move, Lord?
What pace do you want us to keep?
How much do you expect us to produce?
How heavy are the burdens
you intend us to bear?
I remember your words to Martha,
how you reminded her that Mary, her sister,
had chosen the better part:
to sit quietly by your side, to be near you,
to listen for your voice,
to hear your word,
to simply be with you...
Slow me down, Lord,
and let the busyness that runs me
and runs inside me settle
to a pace and a peace
that lets me be, be with you,
in a quiet that lets me hear
your heart speak to mine...
I'm not on retreat, Lord,
but it seems that part of every day,
at work or on vacation,
should be a time of retreat,
a time for slowing down
and being with you,
listening for your word,
every day, on vacation or not...
While I'm away, Lord,
your work in my parish moves right along
-as it will one day when I'm no longer there;
you don't need us for what you do, Lord,
it's we who need you and your Spirit
for the work we do in your name...
In this time off, in this place away,
let me find again the peace
of being at your side,
remembering how you are always right by mine...
Open my eyes and heart, Lord,
to those whose paths cross mine
these vacation days,
and when and where I can,
let me be there for them
and see how they are there for me...
Such is my prayer this morning, Lord,
and all this day and week...
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