For Christmas, my mom gave me a book of prayerful poems from Commoners Communion. This small book has an array of thoughtful yet raw prayers and poems that mimic the psalms in many ways. My original intention when I received this book was to take the time to meditate on a poem or two each day — maybe even start and end my day with these prayers. While I have unfortunately fallen victim to stress and an overloaded to-do list this semester, convinced I’m too busy to pause and meditate, I read one of these poems the other day that created a monsoon of mixed emotions.
It reads, “Mist-dwelling Spirit, who sees when I don’t see, and knows when I don’t know; Help me see unclarity as holy invitation and an opportunity to walk with you in answerless devotion.” This prayer jolted me because I knew it was certainly what I needed to hear but far from what I wanted to hear.
I have felt overwhelmed lately. This is nothing new and nothing unique to me, but I have been overwhelmed by the inevitable change I am about to face and the life and people I will soon leave. When I think about what I am most concerned about, it isn’t necessarily the bigger or more obvious parts of the future. For whatever reason, I’m not as worried about the exact job I will find or the city I will live in. Instead, my mind keeps thinking about the smaller parts of life that I don’t have to think twice about right now: Who will I eat my meals with? What will my daily commute look like? What will my bedroom look like? I know these are small things, but these are the things in my life right now that are so natural, comfortable and minute, and thinking about readjusting those patterns and habits has gotten to me the most. So, when I read that prayer, “Mist-dwelling Spirit, who sees when I don’t see, and knows when I don’t know,” it caused me to pause.
So often in life, we attribute the more substantial parts of life as requiring more strength and trust, but when I think about my life now, the commonplace has required the most strength and has reaped the most beautiful results. In the day-to-day, when it’s easy to tune out and discredit the weight of what occurs day in and day out, it has created the nuanced and refining life I get to lead. It has allowed me to experience each day — with its various surprises, challenges and routines — alongside people who continue to shape me and make me better. In these days is where the Spirit intervenes on my walks to class and my conversations with peers, even when I do not notice.
So, as I press forward and enter the daily and typical in a new capacity, I pray, “Mist-dwelling Spirit, who sees when I don’t see, and knows when I don’t know; Help me see unclarity as holy invitation and an opportunity to walk with you in answerless devotion.”