a prayer

        Father, apart from you I can do nothing.  You said so in ages past, but for a long time I didn't believed you.  Now I'm starting to.  Open my eyes.  Show me how small I am and how huge you are and how much you love me.  Unless I see those things, all my efforts will be but dust.  I'll only wear myself out trying to earn a well-done from you and from other peope (and, hardest of all, from myself).  Anybody who outperforms me will be, not my brother, but my competition.  And when I manage to outperform someone, it will only fuel the kind of pride and self-reliance that separate me from my brother and, far worse, from you.  I am only safe when I remember that I belong to you and that I am your delight, just as I am.  So I lay before you these fresh-start dreams.  They are seeds you have sown in my heart.  I will gladly water them and nurture them, but only you can make them grow.  Amen.

“The only way to survive is to know that God loves me as I am and not as I should be. . . .  The biggest mistake I can make is to say to God, “Lord, if I change, you will love me, won’t you?”  The Lord’s reply is always, “Wait a minute.  You’ve got it all wrong.  You don’t have to change so I’ll love you; I love you, so you’ll change.”  I simply expose myself to the love that is everything and have an immense, unshakable, reckless, raging confidence that God loves me so much He’ll change me and fashion me into the child that He always wanted me to be.” Brennan Manning