For years I have started each day on my knees with two prayers. The first essentially says “Thy will, not mine, be done.” The second is a prayer for the people I have hurt.
I’m not sure what I’m praying to. I’m not sure if anything is listening. I am sure that my selfish will and best thinking landed me in prison for 32 years with a mile-wide wake of destruction and a long line of people I had hurt.
Starting the day on my knees is a reminder that life is not all about me. I am not in charge. I am here on this amazing planet and I have the opportunity to be of service rather than live selfishly.
It has been a struggle to live that first prayer lately. I have been afraid. Being locked in a concrete and steel box with Corona Virus running through the institution, hospitalizing and even killing guys is difficult to accept. I want to go home. I want to be somewhere else. I want all sorts of things that are not in my control.
The classes I teach are cancelled. The guys I work with are locked in their own boxes. Meetings are cancelled. The ways I find peace and offer service have been limited.
I have fought with the way things are. I have lost.
Then today, after weeks locked in the cell, we were allowed outside for an hour. The sun warmed my skin. The breeze cooled it.
In the fresh air I found acceptance without thought or question. I was able to be present and grateful and OK.