Wednesday, December 4, 2013

I desire to desire to be ready

my favorite find today, the scallop shell--symbol for the Camino de Santiago,
a not too subtle reminder that my pilgrimage continues
"Dear God, I am so discouraged about my work. I have the feeling of discouragement that is. I realize I don't know what I realize. Please help me dear God to be a good writer and to get something else accepted. That is so far from what I deserve, of course, that I am naturally struck with the nerve of it... 
Don't let me ever think, dear God, that I was anything but the instrument to Your story--just like the typewriter was mine... 
Perhaps the feeling I keep asking for, is something again selfish--something to help me to feel that everything with me is all right. And yet it seems only natural but maybe being thus natural is being thus selfish. My mind is a most insecure thing, not to be depended on... Thank you, dear God, I believe I do feel thankful for all You've done for me. I want to. I do. And thank my dear Mother whom I love, Our Lady of Perpetual Help." 
~Flannery O'Connor, A Prayer Journal

For this morning’s walk, my prayer mantra became a list of blessings—which I sang to a familiar tune (or perhaps two tunes brought together) as I meandered up and down the beach picking up shells.

I’m pretty sure I’ve joined two different songs at the hip, but here’s how it went:
for the [sunshine] and the [water]
thanks be to God!
 for the [sand] and [all its creatures]
thanks be to God!
 Lord of all to thee I raise, this my hymn of thankful praise! 
Where the brackets are, I simply kept adding the people and things that I am grateful for, today, here, and in my life. You get the idea.

But just in case you want to hear the tune, I recorded myself singing it with my iPhone when I got back to our room. Just go to the bottom of this blog to see and hear it.

I have been feeling quite distant and discouraged about my writing and my current book project, the biography of Father Stanley Rother

And I am well aware that it has nothing to do with the subject and everything to do with me. But when I read Flannery O’Connor’s genuine, honest prayer, it brought tears to my eyes.

Thank you, Flannery, for reminding me yet once again that not only who I am, but also what I do, is all gift.

Here I am Lord, 
I desire to be ready… and today, 
I desire to desire to be ready,
for whenever you will use me and my writing 

And I trust that is enough.