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Psalm of God's Good Time

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Psalm of God's Good Time

Divine Friend, I feel sorry
for those whose clocks
have faces that are circled
with terrible things
rather than twelve numbers.

I pray for those who
measure time by misfortunes,
their miseries the minutes
ticked off with groans
that life is so painful.

In their hourglass of life
each grain of sand is a sorrow,
trickling trials piling up,
making mountains of miseries
from molehills of sad sand.

May I keep your good time, O God:
all my clocks measuring life
only by counting your rich blessings,
hour by hour, your gifts galore,
making twice as long
a lifetime ticking with thanksgiving.

Saint Paul proclaimed the need to give thanks always and for everything. Regardless of the symbols or numbers printed on the face of your wristwatch or clock, to keep time according to God's good time is to know what time it is: It is time to give thanks.

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B.C., Before Clocks, was a time kept by sun and stars. Our age is surrounded by clocks who are slave drivers; their hands whip us to keep us running in a hurry. To some degree, we are victims of time's destiny and our individual circumstances, our conflicts and problems that measure out our existence. Yet to some degree, our slavery to the clock is self-imposed. Wanting to control our lives and our destinies, we crowd our schedules. When we can't make things work, the clock squeezes us mercilessly, and we define life in terms of delays, interruptions and problems.

Fortunate are those who have emigrated to the Promised Land of Gratitude, for they have crossed the border into the paradise of zero gravity. While to others they may seem not to have gone anywhere--living in the same house and working at the same job--they live in a different time zone. They are freed of grave attitudes, for they have placed their lives in God's hands, not in the tyrant-clock's hands. They measure life and time by being grateful, regardless of whether the situation is pleasant or unpleasant, problem-free or problem-filled. Such grateful living makes us gravity-free, buoyed only by God's blessings and love.

"Watch carefully how you live, and don't be foolish," the writer of Ephesians says, "giving thanks always and for everything" (Ephesians 5:15-20). Watching your watch carefully--marking time with gratitude--is the key to not living foolishly. May your watch be an instrument for counting your blessings.

From Psalms for Zero Gravity by Ed Hays

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strong>Psalm of a Beggar at God's Door

Hear me, O God, I stand at your door.
(knock, knock, knock)

A beggar, friend and lover stands
waiting at your door.
I come to you with my list of needs,
doing as I was told.
Hear the knocking of your beloved
begging at your door.
(knock, knock, knock)

I confess that it is not you, my God,
who closes shut your door.
Forgive my rudeness, Divine Beloved,
for often slamming it in in your face.
Now, with a prayerful closed fist
I strike my breast, my heart.
I'm sorry that I often come not to make love
but only when I'm in some special need.
(knock, knock, knock)

Hear me as I now knock at your door;
open wide to me your heart,
for now, as a beggar at your door,
I plead for my needs: (list your petitions).
(knock, knock, knock)

With confidence I knock in prayer,
for it was your son Jesus
who taught me this trick of tapping
and promised you would always open
to answer those at your door.

Holy (knock), Holy (knock), Holy (knock).

Reflection: Jesus promised his disciples that if they knock, God will open the door with gifts for the asking. Naturally, God is eager to have an ever opened door, wanting to anticipate our every need. For God is like a lover who never needs to be asked what gift the beloved desires.

Although God doesn't need to be asked, our knocking in prayer reminds us of our relationship with God; it strengthens the bonds of love, as we take neither our needs nor God for granted. Knocking in prayer also reminds us that it is we who so often close the door to God. We shut the door by being too busy opening the doors to success. We block the door by being too well fed and too well dressed.

Finally, knocking is a good musical accompaniment to prayer, It helps tune our ears, and if our ears are attuned we can hear God's response to our knocking: "Come in, my beloved, it isn't locked."

From Psalms for Zero Gravity by Ed Hays

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Prayer action suggestion:
Go a day without wearing your watch. When you turn to look at the time, see
your empty wrist and be thankful for this moment.

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July 18-31, 2014

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