January 12, 2014 by lellielieb
LORD, we beseech thee mercifully to receive the prayers of thy people which call upon thee; and grant that they may both perceive and know what things they ought to do, and also may have grace and power faithfully to fulfil the same; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
This is a stressful time of year for me. Last week we returned to school after Christmas break and this week we will administer the exams that end the first semester. It’s a crazy time full of wrapping up and evaluating on the one hand and unrolling and planning on the other. There are review classes to conduct, exams to write and proctor, projects to grade, planning meetings to attend, vision to cast, students and colleagues to inspire. Meanwhile, it’s January–time to really invest in and establish those personal goals so important to the success of the year. EEEEEEEEEEKKKKKKKKKKKKK!!!!
I have been lying in bed awake since 5:30 with all of the things I have to do wrestling in my brain. I tell myself I am planning, but really I am fussing and worrying, trying desperately to find a time and a plan for everything I have to do. It isn’t possible. The only logical conclusion then, is that God doesn’t expect me to do it ALL. This is one of my most familiar struggles–telling the difference between God’s expectations and my own.
Imagine my delight and the comfort and heavenly peace that came down as I read the Collect for today! God wants me to acknowledge that He is the Giver of time. He grants the knowledge of what must be done, what can be done, and best of all, what OUGHT to be done. There’s a lot of relief in being a simple servant.
As I prayed the prayer and meditated on the scripture that went along with it, I felt the tensions melt and peace prevail. Then there were these familiar verses from this morning’s lesson.
“For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” Ephesians 2:8-10
God has prepared my good works beforehand. All I have to do is follow. It means giving up control, but it also means walking in peace, fellowship, and joy. I’m for that.