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Doing better next time

2 chestnuts w cby Gerald May*
*Excerpted from his article, “Prayerfulness at Work” from Shalem’s News, Volume 29, No. 1-Winter, 2005. The full issue may be viewed here.
Jerry May wrote an article about being more prayerful in the workplace and we have excerpted parts of that article here before. He concludes his article saying:
And remember that we all have our thresholds. There are kinds and amounts of work, degrees of stress and conflict beyond which we simply cannot remain centered and open-at least not on our own. Because of this, we need to be especially gentle and compassionate with ourselves. Do not consider prayerfulness as something you succeed or fail at achieving. It is a gift, and all we can really do is claim our desire for it, pray for it, and seek to be as open as we can to the gift as it may be given. And when we do get caught up, realizing how far away we are from the way we desire to be, it’s time for a prayer like Thomas Kelly’s: “God, see, this is just how I am except it be for your grace.”
What is your experience? We can be so hard on ourselves, berating ourselves for not living up to the gold standard we set. We know we are works in progress and striving to improve oneself is wonderful. It’s the self-flagellation that we could do without. Going down that road causes us to spend all kinds of energy on what went wrong instead of seeing it as a missed opportunity and moving onward and upward. A prayer to do better next time.
Thank you, Jerry for your loving reminder.

3 responses to “Doing better next time”

  1. June Schulte says:

    I am grateful for this reminder of Jerry’s deep interior wisdom. Of course our loving God would not create Prayer as a pass/fail system. Of course it would be relational and centered in our deepest longing. These also are not pass/fail. We know because even we would not set things up that way with our loved ones. It is always good to be reminded of this. I wonder why we need to be reminded.

    I first wrote this response a few hours ago as I was preparing to go to work to fill in for a coworker, on my day off. Since then I have discovered I am not well today and yet another coworker is filling in. It is good to have some quiet around this offering from Jerry. Rest is part of the work we do.

    So grateful for the Gift.

  2. fromcheaptherapy says:

    thanks for the gentle reminder, dear Jerry.

  3. edumer says:

    Right on time Steph! Such a reminder of the need we all have for compassion for ourselves, not just others. Seems an unusual thing to have to concentrate on, but when we are living for Christ sometimes it is too easy to be too hard on ourselves! It comes from the wonderful intention of wanting to live an exceptional life and being disappointed when we fall short. Ah, but we must remember, Christ told us to treat others in the same way we treat ourselves! Ironic…loving ourselves with compassion will increase the love and compassion we have for others.

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