Psalm 69:1 NLT
'Save me, O God, for the floodwaters are up to my neck.'
I start my day with prayer, but I also try to end it with a brief time of deliberate reflection. For centuries the Church has used the service of compline to close out the working day. This offers a series of psalms and reflections to complete the day with God. There are different versions online. I like using what the Orthodox Church call “small compline”, where small does not mean short! I like the rhythm of its journey. At day’s end I’m tired so I don’t always complete it. As with all my prayer once God’s Spirit captures my mind with a phrase or particular thought, I stay with it while it travels from my mind to my heart and shapes my response to God at the end of the day.
In Psalm 69, the opening verse captures something of the feelings I can have at the end of a busy day. When life is busy and I’m not sure I’m coping. It’s good to know God is available in such moments and that I don’t need to be in some special place of contemplative grace for God to find and converse with me. In a recent small group, everyone was invited to share what life had been like since our last time together. Many spoke of the stress and demands they were juggling, and the phrase, “it feels like I’m drowning” came up. Such thoughts are the enemy of nourishing sleep and wear down our physical and spiritual resources.
Earlier this year, I overloaded my diary. It was over-busy, especially for the lifestyle I was seeking to establish. When I am over-busy, Mum feels less safe because I am in and out and she struggles to keep track of my movements. Knowing where I am and, more importantly, having me in close proximity are important to her for her stability and rest. I felt like I was drowning, and the pressure was to yield to that feeling. However, returning to God, in compline reminding myself of my self-induced plight, I was able to grab hold of God and keep my head above water and slowly work my way back to shore.
QUESTION: How do you usually finish each day before you sleep?
PRAYER: Lord, thank you that when life is too much for me, you are enough.