Recently, I experienced a bit of a crisis. Seeing the accomplishments of others, and recognizing what I’m capable of, I asked myself: Why am I not doing more? I panicked, and felt my desires pulling me in every direction. Even though I was able to calm down later that evening, this mental battle quietly continued over the next few days. Am I doing enough in my life right now? Am I doing too much in my life right now? What should life look like for me?
Shortly after all of this, I found myself in a conversation which touched on this topic. As I balanced my baby on my hip and sipped coffee, I listened as one woman shared a simple prayer that she often says: Lord, show me your will today.
That prayer — just six simple words — struck me with the profound realization that I often forget to ask God what His will is. Sure, I pray every day. I even pray the Lord’s Prayer, which specifically states, “Thy will be done.” Yet, often as I pray these words, I’m thinking about my other petitions: the laundry list of intentions that I’m asking God to bless and to grant. I may ask God to show me His will regarding an event far into the future, or a big decision that I know my husband and I will need to make at some point in the coming weeks. However, I don’t frequently think about asking God to reveal His will for that very day.
Countless saints have discussed the importance of living in the present moment. Furthermore, Jesus talks about this in the Sermon on the Mount, when — after pointing out how God cares for the birds of the sky — he encourages his listeners to not be anxious about the future:
Do not worry about tomorrow; tomorrow will take are of itself. Sufficient for a day is its own evil (Matthew 6:34).
I’ve long looked to the wisdom of this teaching. However, at some point — probably coinciding with the physical and mental exhaustion of parenting — it became easier to pray on autopilot.
Life became less focused on daily opening my heart to God’s will, and instead became more focused on counting down the hours until nap time, dinnertime, and bedtime. So, as I’ve thought about my recent mental turmoil and my friend’s wise advice, I’ve realized that I don’t need to put together an elaborate plan for Lent this year. Instead, as I make small sacrifices and focus on Christ’s Passion, I need to bring these six words into my daily prayers: Lord, show me your will today.
Saying this one prayer takes just a few seconds, and it doesn’t require pulling out a book or finding a special prayer card. By stopping for just a moment when I wash my hands at the sink or as I drag myself out of bed to nurse the baby, I can open my heart and ask God to guide me.
Will you join me, as I pause in the middle of life’s craziness, to pray these words during the upcoming Lenten season?
Copyright 2019 AnneMarie Miller