Lord, When I’m full of my plans it’s easy to think only of what matters to me. Deliver me from self-absorption. Even when others are insensitive, may I respond with gentle strength. Amen.
But I will sing of your strength; I will sing aloud of your steadfast love in the morning. For you have been to me a fortress and a refuge in the day of my distress.
Psalms 59:16 ESV
Jesus doesn’t call us to simply put His teaching into practice by our own willpower. If we try to do that, we will fail. We will be utterly unprepared to turn the other cheek or to love our enemy if we haven’t spent time with Christ in the unseen, everyday things. As Dallas Willard puts it, “In this truth lies the secret of the easy yoke: the secret involves living as he lived in the entirety of his life—adopting his overall life-style. Following ‘in his steps’ cannot be equated with behaving as he did when he was ‘on the spot.’ To live as Christ lived is to live as he did all his life.”
Jesus invites us to a different life. He calls us to the small, everyday things—prayer, silence, solitude, sabbath—because in doing them, we find the rest He speaks of. We learn to enjoy Jesus in the day-to-day and find that the life He has called us to, no matter what it brings, will feel easy and light.
Morning Prayer: Jesus, Your name is a holy chorus that stills and focuses the human heart. Please quiet the clanging cymbals of life’s demands that clatter in our minds. Refill us with joyous sounds of Your voice. One word from You, Lord, and the lame leap, the crippled pirouette, and those bowed down rise to stand on tiptoes. We are at times lame with limitations, crippled with cares, and bowed down with life’s heaviness. We long for Your dance-producing presence and wait for the dawn of joy within us. Amen.