I suddenly realized why I had felt so stressed. When I received the first call, I looked at the problem as a terrible condition that my personal prayer was going to handle. I took it on as a responsibility, a weight and a reality. Not feeling yet up to the job, I dragged that "terrible reality" down the hall to make the bed, figuring I would pray about it in a bit when my chores were done and I could better concentrate. Then the second call came and I had two "miserable realities" to contend with through prayer.
No wonder I felt sunk.
So I thought about that message to be instant and to pray without ceasing. I realized that to be instant "in season" is to be ready to witness to spiritual reality when the going is smooth and easy. To be instant "out of season" is to be ready to witness to spiritual reality when the going is tough. But the job never changes. To pray without ceasing is to commit to be a perpetual witness to spiritual reality. Spiritual witnessing through prayer is the quickest, easiest and least burdensome activity in the world, when we remember that prayer doesn't change the reality or facts in a case. It opens us to the spiritual facts and lets us know immediately why and how it is that all is well. Prayer can be a first, immediate and effective responder to a call for help when we take good care of ourselves by turning straight to God, divine Love, and by taking on a divine perspective that heals.
The next morning I received ten calls in a row. I couldn't have imagined that the day before. I might not have survived that the day before! But now I was ready. I was instant.
And my teeth did get brushed and the beds did get made.
Whatever our job, whatever the demands, we can each take good care of ourselves allowing God to carry each instant of the day.
Take my life, and let it be
Consecrated, Lord, to Thee.
Take my moments and my days,
Let them flow in ceaseless praise.
Take my hands, and let them move
At the impulse of Thy love.
Take my feet, and let them be
Swift and beautiful for Thee.
Take my voice, and let me sing
Always, only, for my King.
Take my lips, and let them be
Filled with messages from Thee.
Take my every thought, to use In the way that Thou shalt choose.
Take my love; O Lord, I pour At Thy feet its treasure store.
I am Thine, and I will be Ever, only, all for Thee. (Christian Science Hymnal, 324, Frances Havergal)
Also, this poem has been a gift and a great help in my work. It serves to remind me of who is in charge and how to stay instant and burden-free: "After the call" by Lois Rae Carlson, CSB.
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