Pause

I worried a lot. Will the garden grow, will the rivers flow in the right direction, will the earth turn as it was taught, and if not how shall I correct it?

Was I right, was I wrong, will I be forgiven, can I do better?

Will I ever be able to sing, even the sparrows can do it and I am, well, hopeless …

from “I Worried” by Mary Oliver (2010)

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Listen

They will build houses and live in them; they will plant vineyards and eat their fruit. They won’t build for others to live in, nor plant for others to eat. Like the days of a tree will be the days of my people; my chosen will make full use of their handiwork. They won’t labor in vain, nor bear children to a world of horrors, because they will be people blessed by the Lord, they along with their descendants.

Isaiah 65:21-23

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Think

The calendar had just turned to October. We had decided to take out our A/C window unit and pack away our floor fans. It was officially fall, but the thermometer said it was in the high 90s with 100% humidity. It did not feel like October or the fall I had envisioned.

Despite the weather that had me feeling like a slug on the pavement, I decided I could not neglect my weekly duty to phone up my grandmother. She lives alone in the mountains of North Carolina. She made an off-hand comment that has since stuck with me: “Well, the leaves are changing, so I guess that means fall is on the way.”

To me that is such an apt metaphor for being a Christian. Yes, we don't always see that God is hearing our prayers or acting on our behalf. But just like I know this humidity will surely turn to a fall breeze, I know that surely God is there all the time, faithfully, with me and you.

Will Oxford

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Pray

God of the seasons and the earth, I know you are as present in the sunshine as you are in the thunderstorm. Help me to embrace both, as part of your immense power and love. Amen.

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Go

… Finally I saw that worrying had come to nothing.
And gave it up. And took my old body
and went out into the morning,
and sang.

from “I Worried” by Mary Oliver (2010)

Will Oxford

Will Oxford lives in New Haven, CT with his wife Heidi and their two beautiful cats. Will works at a local grocery store, ministering to the people of the world by being a smiling face and listening ear, as well as serving up free cups of coffee.

Kinderszenen, Op. 15: 7. Träumerei

Garry Bailey

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