I want to stop running

image / pxfuel
 
Eternal God, you are a song amid silence,
    a voice out of quietness,
    a light out of darkness,
    a Presence in the emptiness,
    a coming out of the void.
You are all of these things and more.
You are mystery that encompasses meaning,
    meaning that penetrates mystery.
You are God,
    I am man.
I strut and brag.
I put down my fellows
    and bluster out assortments of my achievements.
And then something happens:
    I wonder who I am,
        and if I matter.
Night falls,
    I am alone in the dark and afraid.
Someone dies,
    I feel so powerless.
A child is born,
    I feel touched by the miracle of new life.
At such moments I pause . . .
    to listen for a song amid the silence,
    a voice out of stillness,
    to look for a light out of darkness.
I want to feel a Presence in the emptiness.
I find myself reaching for a hand. 
 
Oftentimes, the feeling passes quickly,
    and I am on the run again:
        success to achieve,
        money to make.
O Lord, you have to catch me on the run
    most of the time.
I am too busy to stop,
    too important to pause for contemplation.
I hold up too big a section of the sky
    to sit down and meditate.
But even on the run,
    an occasional flicker of doubt assails me,
And I suspect I may not be as important 
        to the world
     as I think I am.
Jesus said each of us is important to you.
It is as if every hair of our heads were numbered.
How can that be?
But in the hope that is is so,
I would stop running,
        stop shouting,
    and be myself.
 
Let me be still now.
Let me be calm.
Let me rest upon the faith that you are, God,
    and I need not be afraid. Amen.
 
Kenneth G. Phifer, Presbyterian minister and author
 
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Come, behold the works of the Lord,
    how he has brought desolations on the earth.
He makes wars cease to the end of the earth;
    he breaks the bow and shatters the spear;
    he burns the chariots with fire.
“Be still, and know that I am God.
    I will be exalted among the nations,
    I will be exalted in the earth!”

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You understand me, Lord

Psalm 139 Rijksdienst voor het Cultureel Erfgoed / CC BY-SA 4.0
 
Lord,
you understand me,
you know my every thought,
my brain is not a mystery to you.
Enter into my mind, Lord,
guide and direct my thoughts.
Be before me when I speak,
be beside me when I act,
be within me when I listen,
that I might possess
the wisdom born of love,
for you are love,
the love which understands
everything.
 
Frank Topping, 1937-, English minister and author
 
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O Lord, you have searched me and known me!
You know when I sit down and when I rise up;
    you discern my thoughts from afar.
You search out my path and my lying down
    and are acquainted with all my ways.
Even before a word is on my tongue,
    behold, O Lord, you know it altogether.
You hem me in, behind and before,
    and lay your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;
    it is high; I cannot attain it.
 

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the pursuit of Wisdom

You are wisdom, uncreated and eternal,
    the supreme first cause, above all being,
    sovereign Godhead, sovereign goodness,
    watching unseen the God-inspired wisdom of Christian people.
Raise us, we pray, that we may totally respond
    to the supreme, unknown, ultimate, and splendid height
    of your words, mysterious and inspired.
There all God’s secret matters lie covered and hidden
    under darkness both profound and brilliant, silent and wise.
You make what is ultimate and beyond brightness
    secretly to shine in all that is most dark.
In your way, ever unseen and intangible,
    you fill to the full with most beautiful splendor
    those souls who close their eyes that they may see.
And I, please, with love that goes on beyond mind
    to all that is beyond mind,
    seek to gain such for myself through this prayer.
 
St. Denis prayer, from The Cloud of Unknowing, 14th century
 
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My goal is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, 
    so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, 
    in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ, 
    in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.
 

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