Day one. Again.

I make lists of things I want to write about. It’s a good practice. But it’s a barometer of my soul as well.

  • When every idea on the list is a “how to”, I know I need to think a little about”why to.”
  • When every idea on the list is “How sad”, I know I need to think a little about “Here’s hope.”
  • When every item on the list is “I’m failing”, I know I need to think a little about “accurate assessment.”
  • And when every item on the list is, “they need to learn to”, I know I need to take a nap. The margin is getting thin. The compassion is getting diluted.

All around me are conversations about how to, how sad, how failing, and how incompetent.

I think we need to start August with a nap. And a check of our lists. And a prayer as paraphrased by Eugene Peterson.

august“The world is full of so-called prayer warriors who are prayer-ignorant. They’re full of formulas and programs and advice, peddling techniques for getting what you want from God. Don’t fall for that nonsense. This is your Father you are dealing with, and he knows better than you what you need. With a God like this loving you, you can pray very simply. Like this:

Our Father in heaven,
Reveal who you are.
Set the world right;
Do what’s best—
    as above, so below.
Keep us alive with three square meals.
Keep us forgiven with you and forgiving others.
Keep us safe from ourselves and the Devil.
You’re in charge!
You can do anything you want!
You’re ablaze in beauty!
    Yes. Yes. Yes.


About Jon Swanson

Social media chaplain. Author of "Lent For Non-Lent People" and "A Great Work: A Conversation With Nehemiah For People (Who Want To Be) Doing Great Works." Writer of I help people understand. Understand some of the Bible. Understand what Lent can be about. Understand what it means to follow.