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

You will say on that day: “I thank you, Lord. Though you were angry with me, your anger turned away and you comforted me. God is indeed my salvation; I will trust and won’t be afraid. Yah, the Lord, is my strength and my shield; he has become my salvation.”

You will draw water with joy from the springs of salvation. And you will say on that day: “Thank the Lord; call on God’s name; proclaim God’s deeds among the peoples; declare that God’s name is exalted. Sing to the Lord, who has done glorious things; proclaim this throughout all the earth.” Shout and sing for joy, city of Zion, because the holy one of Israel is great among you.

Isaiah 12

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Think

“Time has come today / Young hearts can go their way / Can't put it off another day / I don't care what others say / They think we don't listen anyway / Time has come today”

Like the prophetic songs of Isaiah from 742 BC, The Chamber Brothers sang this call to action in 1967. It was the height of the Vietnam War and the ongoing civil rights era. In their words, it was “Time!” Time for action.

It is important to look forward and trust in the future, but trust without action is meaningless. We can plan as much as we’d like, but now is the only time we know we have. “I’ll volunteer at that shelter next week,” or any other excuse just won’t cut it, my friends. If we trust in God's future deeds of justice and peace, joy and salvation, then we may act in accordance to honor God here and now.

The time for planning and waiting is over. Take the advice of prophets, both old and new: the time to act is now.

Will Oxford

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Pray

Lord, I plan so much, but forget to be grateful for today. Today is the best gift you’ve given to me, and I want to use it to the best of my ability. 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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