20 January 2011

Day's end

At the end of the day, I’m never quite sure whether I am depressed by how little, or impressed by how much, I’ve managed to accomplish. Whether I’m down about the mess in the kitchen or congratulating myself on the homemade loaf on the counter, I return again and again to the richness of Starck’s parents’ prayer. Some dark days, some long nights, my weary petitioning gets no farther than “O Lord, Lord, in all my efforts, do Thou perform the most efficient part.”

In no area of my stumbling efforts is this petition—this promise-- more desperate, more crucial, and more comforting than when I consider the End of the Day.

O Lord, Lord, in all my efforts, do Thou perform the most efficient part! Regardless of what has or hasn’t been crossed off the to-do list; even if I get no farther in my devotions-- Satis est, and Soli Deo gloria.


lisa said...

What sweet and humbling thoughts to end the night with - thank you.

Erich Heidenreich, DDS said...

Excellent thoughts. And I agree that Starck's prayer book is, indeed, very beneficial to have around.

I would just add that praying the Ten Commandments, the Creed, the Lord's Prayer, and Luther's morning and evening prayers (as Luther enjoins us to do every day) can give the same comfort without having to have a book in front of you.

Three parts of simply praying the Catechism come to mind in regards to this post:

"You shall have no other gods": The One True God is the only one who can truly take care of us and all those we love. Think as we may that it is all up to us, it is really up to God.

"I believe in God the Father Almighty, Maker of Heaven and Earth": In other words, that He provides me richly and daily with all that I (and everyone I love) need to support this body and life, protects me from all danger, and guards me and preserves me from all evil; and all this out of pure, fatherly, divine goodness and mercy, without any merit or worthiness in me; for all which I owe it to Him to thank, praise, serve, and obey Him. This is most certainly true.

"Give us this day our daily bread": In other words, despite what I have done and left undone, somehow everyone received exactly what they needed. The Lord provides.

"Into thy hands I commend myself, my body and soul and ALL THINGS": In other words, we really can trust God with everything. That's how I go to sleep at night, and it's how I urge my wife and everyone I love to go to sleep and start each day - especially when you're too tired to open a book or do anything but collapse in bed.

If done daily, these words just roll off your lips, even if only in a whisper to yourself.

Reb. Mary said...

This is most certainly true.