Even though it is August, which should be steamy, hot and humid here in southern Indiana, the mornings have been cool and brisk. I’m not complaining, just observing.
My morning walk used to start at 6:00 and the sun was rising. Now I’m sleeping an extra half an hour just so I can say the words of the Daily Office, “O Lord, let my soul rise up to meet you as the day rises to meet the sun.” as the sun begins to appear over the horizon.
It puts my day in context. It reminds me that the most important things in life are my faith and the gift of a brand new day. A new day to move my body, eat good food, and drink amazing Chai Lattes.
By the time I reach the road, I’ve moved on from greeting the day to confession. I like getting that out of the way. Mostly I like getting to the line, “So that I may walk in your will and delight in your way to the glory of your name.”
Ah yes, this sets the tone for the day that awaits my return. I have a couple of miles to think through my tasks, pray for those that come to mind, and simply take in all the beauty of my neighborhood.
As I leave the road and walk back down the driveway, the collect comes to mind. “Almighty and everliving Father, you have brought us in safety to this new day. Preserve us now, by your mighty power, so that we may not fall into sin nor be overcome by adversity. And may all we do ever be the fulfilling of your purpose.”
One more reminder that I am not alone in this day and these tasks. I’ve been brought here and given a purpose. I acknowldege that sin and adversity are part of life, but admit that I prefer not to fall nor be overcome.
This simple rhythm brings such comfort and stability to my life. I am ever grateful for the faith community that has brought these words into my life. I need this structure. I need these prepared words.
I’ve been asked if simply reciting these prayers and words doesn’t feel contrived or like I’m slacking off in my prayer life. On the contrary, I have discovered that these words lead to a greater depth of faith. They have become the starting block of a conversation that sustains me as I go through the day. A day framed by Laud, Sext, Vespers, and Compline. A day that comes back to God at regular intervals. A day that I know is mirrored in a multitude across the globe.