Just for today
1. Let me awaken with fresh resolve to face the day with courage and purpose, determined to maximize the 60 minutes that comprise each hour of the day. Let me not shrink from intense, purposeful labor, defer the exacting task or rob my employer of an honest day’s toil.
2. May I notice the little things around me—the delicate, luminous leaves on our Japanese maples, the spider web glistening in dawn’s morning light, the mother robin who trusts us enough to build a nest in the wreath on our front door, the squirrels bounding and foraging across the back lawn.
3. Show me how money can be a servant, not a master.
4. Reveal my hidden side to my spouse, family and others close to me. Let my thoughts and my actions be consistent and in synch.
5. Keep me from thinking more highly of myself than I ought, but prevent me also from underestimating my potential. Help me to recognize my underdeveloped gifts and to hone and to cultivate them.
6. Prompt me to not only think about what’s happening around me but to try to feel the passions—the joys, aspirations and sorrows—of those I encounter each day.
7. May I be an encourager of others, not an antagonist.
8. Spur me to complete unfinished projects—the unanswered letter or electronic correspondence from a friend or relative, the pile of papers decomposing on the bedroom table, the office files that need cleansing, the compliment I intended to give a colleague, the “thinking of you” card and message for the person experiencing hardship.
9. Cleanse my soul of smoldering resentments, impure thoughts, false pride and selfish ambition.
10. Remind me often that when I point a finger at another, three are pointed back at me.
11. Prevent me from becoming complacent or prosaic, either in thought or action, as I age. Keep me moving, inquisitive, enthusiastic. Don’t allow me to sit idly while learning opportunities pass by.
12. Grant me the freedom to say “no” when I’m over committing myself and the wisdom to say “yes” when it is appropriate.
13. Let me be the emollient when others are wounded, not the cause of their pain.
14. Just for today, teach me patience—in lines, in unpleasant situations, in family relationships. Keep me mindful that I can never tell family and friends too often, “I love you.”
15. Give me moments of calm and silence amid the din of daily duties.
16. Show me my bad habits and my excuses for retaining them.
17. Allow me to hear and to ponder points of view that conflict with my own.
18. Let me be thankful for what I already have rather than thinking “just one more thing” will bring contentment.
19. Help me to care for the Earth and its resources—to conserve water, practice recycling and walk or bike instead of driving whenever possible—even as I perform regular maintenance on this aging physical vehicle.
20. Calm my fears, anxieties and irritations. May I not brood unduly over situations that are beyond my power to change.
21. Just for today, help me be quick to laugh and praise and slow to disparage or denounce.
22. Keep me from sticking my nose into matters that are not my business or to masquerade as an expert in my writing and speaking on issues I know little about.
23. Show me when to speak and when to listen or remain silent.
24. Guide me in discerning and separating the important from the urgent.
25. Give me simple, childlike faith in a complex, uptight and weary world.
Just for today … or every day?
Jim Bishop is public information officer at Eastern Mennonite University, Harrisonburg, Va., and a free-lance writer/columnist, photographer and radio announcer.