Pause for Prayer: TUESDAY 3/16

    Archives Shaping Man by Andrzej Dudzinsk














Nations and institutions have archives - and you and I do, too!  My personal archives go deep into my past, their vaults and drawers holding the history of my life, my mind, my heart, my relationships, my soul...  Lent is a good time to go through my personal archives: to do some sorting and reviewing, to better understand the person whose history I'm living and making...  Following today's Pause for Prayer you'll find some suggestions for searching through your archives...
How often do I consult my archives, Lord? 
   the filing cabinets of my life's story?
When I go to my archives, what do I find there? 
   what records, reports and transcripts?
   what files marked PERSONAL and CONFIDENTIAL?
Have I locked up files that need to be read,
   to be aired in the breath of your mercy?
Are there files in my archives I'm slow to pull,
   slow to read? slow to bring to you in prayer?
Are some of my records in need of correction? 
   any balance sheets in need of adjustment?

As I go through my archives,
   do I focus on files of failure?
   letters of losses, memoirs of grief?

Are there files of joy I need to review?
   memos of good times I ought to recall,
   treasure, savor and keep?
In reopening my personal files,
   do I remember what's stored there is history?
   that I live in the present moment?
   that I need not be chained to my past?
Have I taken the time to find in my archives
   the documentation, the proof
that you've always had my back, Lord,
  that your file on me is always active?

Have I read and treasured the folders of stories
   of those who've befriended, helped and loved me? 
Have I opened the files on the good I've done
   for those I've cared for, loved and befriended?
Have I found and read with a grateful heart
   the minutes and notes on my hope and trust,
   my desire and efforts to grow in faith?

As I go through my archives, remind me, Lord,
   how you know every fact that fills my files
yet you love me still, wanting only and always
    to heal and forgive, refresh and redeem me... 

Lord, give me the grace, the courage I need,
   to open my personal archives
to my files, the permanent record,
   of your kindness, compassion and love...

1) Were I to choose 3 files from my archives this Lent
        to share in prayer with God,
           which files would they be? 
2) Will I pray for the Spirit
        to help me with files I need to open 
           but I know I'll be slow to read?
3) Do I trust the Lord to review my files
      with understanding, healing and pardon?
4) Do I trust Jesus to expunge the files 
       he seals with his mercy 
     and free me from consulting, ever again,
        all he's erased from my heart and his?


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