Over dinner with a friend our conversation turned to the question of what's worth storing in archives. We were speaking about parish records and documents but it got me to thinking about another kind of depository for records and memorabilia from the past: the archives we keep in our hearts and minds and memories.
I know that my personal archives go deep into my past. I'm quite sure I've not yet visited all the rooms and vaults there - and the history of my life they keep. Some reflection on this might help me when I go for my 10 minutes of prayer today...
When I go to my heart's archives, what do I find there?
Have I locked up some files that need to see the light of day?
files that need to be aired in the mercy of God's healing?
Are there entries in my archives I need to bring to prayer,
to my conversation with the Lord?
Do I find some records of my past that need reconciling?
Do I tend to consult only the archives of my disappointments?
Are there archives of joy I need to open again,
and open more often?
Might I ask God's Spirit
to help me open what I need to see again
and to put away, finally, what I no longer need to consult?
When I go to my personal archives,
do I remember that what's stored there is history? is the past?
that I live in the present moment
and need not be chained to what was?
Have I read in the files in my archives
the story of how God has always been with me,
even and especially in those times
when I may have thought God had abandoned me?
Have I searched for the files that tell the story
of my faith, my endurance, my desire to grow and to live?
Have I read the files that tell the stories
of those who have loved me, cared for me, watched out for me?
Do I need to ask God's help to search out the records of joy?
Have I accepted the reality
that God already knows everything stored in my archives,
(the good and the bad)
and loves me still, wanting always
to forgive, heal, refresh and restore me to his heart?
Were I to avoid a particular section in my archives today,
what section would that be?
Were I to bring one file from my archives to God in prayer today,
what file would it be?
Do I trust that with compassion and understanding
the Lord will help me with whatever I share with him?
You might ponder these questions before you go to pray today
or you might bring them to your prayer
and ponder them there...
Let the questions sink in...
Find some quiet time and a quiet place
to be alone with the Lord...
Be still... and know that God has always been with you...
Be still... and know that God is with you...
Be still... and know that God will always be with you...
Are you new to "Praying 10 Minutes a Day in Lent" - or are you having trouble getting started? The first installment offers some thoughts on getting started, as do the subsequent posts in the series. So take a look and join us!
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