Saturday, January 10, 2015

Growing Older & Deeper

Psalm 119:86-88(MSG)
Everything You command is a sure thing, but they harass me with lies.  Help!!  They've pushed and pushed--they never let up-
but I haven't relaxed my grip on Your counsel.  In Your great love revive me so I can alertly obey Your every Word.

Deep roots have allowed this tree to remain standing.
(We came across this on one of our kayaking trips this past summer.)
I have been blessed the past thirteen years to live next door to an incredibly beautiful woman who has shared her strength and love for the Lord with me through her quiet and consistent life.  She had grown deep roots into the Word of God.  She has recently passed through this world and moved on to the kingdom of heaven, but she left her wisdom, courage, and generous spirit behind.  On the day after her passing, I was thumbing through her cherished and tattered Bible, and out fell a worn piece of paper with a prayer on it.  The title:  "Seventeenth Century Nun's Prayer" immediately piqued my interest, especially sense I knew she was indeed not a Nun nor did she practice Catholicism.  The author is Anonymous.  I have provided a copy for you below. 

This is my sister and I on one of our many kayaking
expeditions.  She, too is a woman with a contagious faith
  and an overflowing will to live the full life God has
designed for her.  
The prayer is simple yet deep; it is humorous without disrespect and undeniably human.  As I researched it's authenticity to the Seventeenth Century, what I found is that there is no proof that it was truly written in this era, but due to the shear simplicity and uncluttered focus of the wording, in my opinion, it certainly could have been.  Either way, whether authentic or not, I was deeply moved by it, because I feel like my sweet friend lived out these very words on a daily basis.  Despite her suffering from a very debilitating neurological disease and deteriorating health, I never once heard her complain.  She was a mother and grandmother and had years of experience to draw from and yet she never gave me unsolicited advice; she was very open in sharing her life knowledge, but only after my questioning her and even then she was a humble soul that always pointed to a glorious God and His son for any successes brought her way.  

This 21st Century Matriarch certainly was a walking testimony to the revival of "God's great love".  I had the privilege to witness His grace and mercy through her.  Yes....I am blessed to have had the privilege of sharing a portion of her life.  I look forward to the day when we will meet again, but until then, she will live on in my heart and a copy of the "17th Century Nun's Prayer" will be neatly tucked away inside of my own Bible as a reminder to me of a life that was truly lived by faith. 

17th Century Nun’s Prayer

Lord, Thou knowest better than I know myself, that I am growing
older and will someday be old. Keep me from the fatal habit of
thinking I must say something on every subject and on every occasion.
Release me from craving to straighten out everybody's affairs.

Make me thoughtful but not moody; helpful but not bossy. With
my vast store of wisdom, it seems a pity not to use it all, but Thou
knowest Lord that I want a few friends at the end.

Keep my mind free from the recital of endless details; give me
wings to get to the point. Seal my lips on my aches and pains. They
are increasing, and love of rehearsing them is becoming sweeter as
the years go by. I dare not ask for grace enough to enjoy the tales of
others' pains, but help me to endure them with patience.

I dare not ask for improved memory, but for a growing humility
and a lessing cocksureness when my memory seems to clash with
the memories of others. Teach me the glorious lesson that occasionally
I may be mistaken.

Keep me reasonably sweet; I do not want to be a Saint - some of
them are so hard to live with - but a sour old person is one of the
crowning works of the devil. Give me the ability to see good things
in unexpected places, and talents in unexpected people. And, give
me, O Lord, the grace to tell them so.

-Anonymous Author

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