LIVING AS APPRENTICES
On the way to doing something else . . . isn’t that often how some of our best moments come about?
Anyway, on the way to doing something else today I came across two lovely quotes from one of my favorite books: A Diary of Private Prayer, a devotional classic by John Baillie (1886 -1960). Baillie, raised in the Calvinist tradition, was a professor at Edinburgh University for 20 years. This book was written in 1935 but is still in print. In browsing the internet to learn more about Baillie, I learned that this prayer book was written for his 15-year old son Ian. The language is “old-fashioned” and “King Jamesian” but to me that is part of the beauty of the book. If you are moved by these prayers, I encourage you to treat yourself to a copy of the book or as I used to tell my children, “Put it on your Christmas list.”
Here is a prayer about dealing with pain: (Notice that Baillie does not ask to have the pain taken away):
Give me grace, I beseech Thee, to understand the meaning of all afflictions and disappointments as I myself am called upon to endure. Deliver me from all fretfulness. Give me a stout heart to bear my own burdens. Give me a willing heart to bear the burdens of others. Give me a believing heart to cast all burdens upon Thee.”
And here is a prayer about being awake to the world around us:
“Forbid that I should walk through Thy beautiful world with unseeing eyes.
Forbid that the lure of the market-place should ever entirely steal my heart away from the love of the open acres and the green trees.
Forbid that under the low roof of workshops or office or study I should ever forget Thy great overarching sky.
Forbid that when all Thy creatures are greeting the morning with songs and shouts of joy, I alone should wear a dull and sullen face.
Let the energy and vigor which in Thy wisdom Thou hast infused into every living thing stir within my being, that I may not be among Thy creatures as a sluggard and a drone.
And above all give me grace to use these beauties of earth without me and this eager stirring of life within me as means whereby my soul may rise from creature to Creator and from nature to nature’s God.”
- Some old ways are good ways . . . (matthewnweeda.wordpress.com)