Your righteousness, O God, reaches to the heavens; You have done great things; who is like You, O God? Psalm 71:19
O God, the King eternal, whose light divides the day from the night and turns the shadow of death into the morning: Drive far from me all wrong desires, incline my heart to keep your law, and guide my feet into the way of peace; that, having done your will with cheerfulness during the day, I may, when night comes, rejoice to give you thanks; through Jesus Christ my Lord. Amen
One of the things that C. S. Lewis captures so well is the simple, childlikeness of those who serve Aslan. Of course it helps that they are children themselves, or talking beasts. Adults are all about drains and railways and commercial possibilities, while there is a simple clarity in Digory and Polly and the moles and the elephants and especially the bears that gather around close for His blessing and do His will with great cheerfulness.
And poor Uncle Andrew misses the whole point. In order to keep himself from thinking and feeling things that he did not want to think and feel, the longer and more beautiful the Lion sang, the harder Uncle Andrew tried to make himself believe that he could hear nothing but roaring. And he cannot be comforted because he has made himself unable to hear His voice. Oh Adam’s sons, how cleverly we defend ourselves against all that might do us any good.
Thus The Call to Prayer.
To rest in His great beauty and His great love. To cease striving. To cease.
Incline my heart to keep Your law. To love the LORD God with all of my heart, all of my soul and all of my mind. And to love my neighbor as myself.
Guide my feet into the way of peace. Peace without as I greet each with His mercy and kindness, and peace within as I equally offer mercy and kindness to myself.
And may I do Your will today with great cheerfulness. Your will, not my will, may it be done here on earth as it is in heaven. I release it all down before you…my thoughts as I drive to and fro, my rather rocky homeroom group with the sullen clump of boys up front, my learning of all those new faces and names and stories, the Spanish whacking game and differentiated table groups, taking Shaun for yet another swing at the Arizona Driver’s License Test, and a very tiny community group that somehow I am leading and may that be Your will as well.
May is a conditional helping verb. And here, this morning in my prayer, it is a release, a permission to have Your way in me. Drive from me any other desires.
And yet, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for Thou art with me.
Both of the children were looking up into the Lion’s face. And all at once (they never exactly how it happened) the face seemed to be a sea of tossing gold in which they were floating, and such a sweetness and a power rolled about them and over them and entered them that they felt they had never really been happy or wise or good, or even alive and awake, before. And the memory of that moment stayed with them always, so that as long as they both lived, if ever they were sad or afraid or angry, the thought of all that golden goodness, and the feeling that it was still there, quite close, just around the corner or just behind some door, would come back and make them sure, deep down inside, that all was well.