My favorite prayer in the Episcopal Book of Common Prayer is part of the final service of the day before going to sleep. The prayer is:
Keep watch, dear Lord, with those who work, or watch, or weep this night, and give your angels charge over those who sleep. Tend the sick, Lord Christ; give rest to the weary, bless the dying, soothe the suffering, pity the afflicted, shield the joyous; and all for your love’s sake. Amen.
I appreciate the way this prayer encompasses working, watching, and weeping. That balance is a challenge for me. I do not enjoy waiting, and tend to act as though things would be better if only I could work a little longer.
I tend to be more focused than open. I am more interested in being effective than in being creative. I am more engaged by getting results than in the process. Whenever I need to wait, I distract myself by checking things on my iPhone.
My focus is a significant part of why I am becoming more contemplative. I am learning to be less focused and more aware of the life and world around me. I am, slowly but surely, finding the openness I need to receive what the world has for me. I am coming to terms with my true self, and sharing who I am.
The fact is that things would not be better if only I could do everything myself. I might feel slightly more comfortable for a little while, but eventually even I would miss the contributions of everyone else.
It is more often my frustration and unwillingness to watch and wait, not my inability to work harder, that brings me to the weeping.
What are you waiting for?
How do you balance working, watching, and weeping?
[Image by rgourley-creativedirector]