A Prayer for Times of Change

This month we have been looking for the wisdom of change, the wisdom in change, and the ways we can change the world for the better. Sometimes though, we need help to deal with changes; sometimes life gives us more change than we feel we can handle. This is a prayer for those times.

Dear God,

Change is hard. It is not easy to give up my previous plans.
Help me let go of the things that are not longer on my path.

These new things, people, ways of life are scary. They are different and unfamiliar.
Help me find comfort in the beauty of these new aspects of my life.

Sometimes, I want things to change, but they remain the same. Sometimes I do not want change, but it arrives anyway.
Help me see the love of the universe in every situation.

These changes in my life make me feel unstable, like I am on shifting sands.
Help me to find stability in my relationships with those who love me, and in my relationship with you.

Amen

As always, please feel free to use this prayer, with any modifications you see fit,  in your places of worship or meditation. If you want to submit your own prayer, check out our submissions page

Changing My Story

By: Jenni Taylor

I come from a family of storytellers. I can still hear my uncle’s voice, a baritone rumbling with hints of love hidden deep in the diaphragm, winding a yarn about an owl taking over his truck and making the rest of the family laugh until they couldn’t breathe. I can hear my aunt, who takes my face into her hands and tells me what her kitchen smelled like growing up, and suddenly the room is full of apple pie.

Stories change you. They pick you up, toss you about, tickle your heart and then prick it with pins. A good story is real, more real than real, in the velveteen rabbit way of love being bigger than facts.

Wisdom comes from stories. Scheherazade, the woman who changed the heart of a Persian king with her one thousand and one tales of adventure, love and loss. Samuel the prophet, who brought King David to his knees with the story of a poor man and his sheep. The creation stories, the myths, the legends spread across time existing to give us understanding, entertainment, warnings, hope, knowledge, and more questions.

I am living my own story now. I choose to let it intertwine with a story of a loving being who gives me purpose and adventure and courage to fight dragons. I cross paths with other stories, other beautiful human beings with expositions and rising actions and climaxes and nothing even close to a resolution quite yet. I have this crazy belief that we may be all a part of another story, one much bigger than all of us, that brings meaning and joy and connections and hope. I think if I can let myself be part of that bigger story, it will change me, and it will be absolutely worth it.

Changing Together

By: Autumn Elizabeth

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I am the change. You are the change too. This point was proven yesterday the the People’s Climate March, which took place all around the world. Hundreds of thousands of people came together, ignored their differences, and marched to make change.

In Paris, where I was marching, the vegans weren’t throwing things at the people wearing leather shoes. Greenpeace wasn’t jostling with the World Wildlife Foundation for the best space. Christian groups weren’t bashing the Atheists.  Everyone coexisted to create change.

This coexistence for change is at the core of my faith and my life. I believe that to create a better world, to create the kin-dom of God here on this earth, in this time, we have to work together. I am not suggesting that my belief is to ignore difference, but rather that I believe we must embrace it and work together anyway.

Being the change also means supporting justice for everyone. Reproductive justice organizations like Planned Parenthood attended the People’s Climate March yesterday, because environmental justice affects reproductive justice. In the same way, men must work to end patriarchy, and white people must work to end racism. If we want change, we have to support each other.

I don’t think I would be a very good representative of Jesus, if I only wanted to help Christians nor would I be a very just feminist if I wanted to oppress men. To make change, we all have to be open. We have to be willing to embrace differences, to help one another, and to unite for global justice.

I am the change, you are the change, and together we can make change happen!

 

The Trees are Changing

By: Jenni Taylor

“Oh, what do the trees know,
Oh, letting their leaves go?
Oh, what do the trees see?
Oh, that is beyond me…”–Laleh

I live in a country where the day and time you were born is believed to set your course in the stars. Being born in the Chinese year of the snake, they say I was given bright eyes and the ability to shed my skins, slither out of houses and homes and countries and places and change my scales at will. I look back and I see my layers spread out across the mountains and plains, only as strong as my memories or writings or letters from friends who know what I am despite my many faces.

The sermon on the mount tells me to be meek and merciful, salt and light, a lily of the field and a rock foundation. It’s not shedding skins- it’s putting new ones on, layer by layer, pieces of creation teaching us lessons and molding our spirits like the very air we breathe.

“Good tress bear good fruit,” he says, and I think of the roots deep in the ground and of the fragile leaves that can be plucked by any passing hand. I think of the colors changing and the rings being added like new life veins every year, each one telling a story, each one reminding me the trees might have a better understanding than I do of spirituality and change and strength and weakness wrapped into each other like DNA strands.

I breathe deep and reach into myself to find that strong foundation, the hymns buried in me singing of God’s everlasting love and faithfulness. I look to the times when I was the most child-like in my wonder and belief in good, and I know that is when the bigness and smallness of the sermon on the mount is beginning to touch my insides and mold me into something new.

I embrace the antonyms and realize the human spirit is allowed to be controversial, because it’s simply big enough to be everything at once. So I decide to be a snake, and a tree, and a human being, and learn the lessons set out before me.

Poetry of Change

Today we would like to share a lovely post by a member of our community who has chosen to remain anonymous. This short poem touches on the changes of life and death, and the ways our life changes are reflected in the natural world that surrounds us all.

Logos

Leaves drying, dying
Dancing to eternity
Winter strips them bare
Time: the constant change
Opposite to opposite
From life into death
Where a sun may set
Or a moon may rise, striking
Silence answers all

Seeking Submissions: Change

The season of change is upon us. School years starting, seasons changing, lives changing.

We want to hear about how change has changed you. We want you to submit your thoughts, ideas, posts, and pictures on change and your spiritual journey.

If you need help getting started, try and answer one of these questions:

  1. How did I envision my spiritual life as a child? How is my reality different than that vision?
  2. How have major life changes, like moving, marriage, loss, divorce, birth or death, shaped my spiritual journey?
  3. How have the changes I see in the world affected my journey?

We can’t wait to hear from you!

With Wisdom, Love …and Lint,

Autumn and Jenni

A Prayer for Moving On

By: Autumn Elizabeth

I am getting ready to move on again. I am moving from one European country to another. Leaving friends I love behind, hoping to meet new ones. During times like these, you know, the stressful ones, full of bittersweet emotions and a need to let go, I find myself turning to prayer. So here is a prayer I wrote to help me move on, from a bad situation, or a good one. It is about movement and about change.

 

A Prayer for Moving On

Dear Spirit of Movement,

Let me embrace the new movements in my life,
help me release the past’s grip on me,
so that I may find space to embrace a new future.
Bless my new path with relationships that sustain me,
wisdom to guide me,
and love to empower me.
Help me find the strength to move on,
from this place, from this time,
into the bright unknown that is my future.

Amen.

A Prayer for the Movement

There has been a lot of violence in the world lately. It seems that the efforts of peacemakers, equality seekers, and  justice sojourners are being required everywhere this month. So today we offer up a prayer for the movement–the movement of people working together to seek a more peaceful and just world, the movement of people working against racism and sexism, agasint violence and destruction. This is for all of us…this is a prayer for the movement.

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Dear Spirit of Merciful Peace,

We ask you to sustain us
as we work together
across lines of race and religion
through differences of creed and culture,
towardsa world of  peace and love.

We ask that you help us help each other
during these times of darkness and pain.

We ask that you help us open our eyes
to see the beauty and hope in one another,
even when our differences seem vast.

We are each a part of this world,
and we need strength and wisdom
to be part of the movement of peacemakers and healers,
to live with compassion and work for justice.

We pray together,
for ourselves.
We are the movement.

Amen

 

Movers and Shakers

By: Jenni Taylor

We are the music-makers,
And we are the dreamers of dreams,
Wandering by lone sea-breakers,
And sitting by desolate streams;
World-losers and world-forsakers,
On whom the pale moon gleams:
Yet we are the movers and shakers
Of the world for ever, it seems.
-Arthur O’Shaughnessy

I move. I shake. I dream. I forsake. I take trains and take chances, I make mistakes. I’ve lived in small rooms and big rooms, rooms with toads and stray cats, rooms with candles and comfort. I’ve been skinny Buddha and fat Buddha, the equivalent of Paul being content in all things, all places, at all times.

I only agree with Paul to a point. Contentment is oil for squeaky wheels, and I like being squeaky. Discontent- discontent is gas for the engine. It’s energy. Fire. Passion. Movement. Be content being uncomfortable. Be content wandering lone sea breakers and sitting by desolate streams.

But don’t be content with the way the world is. Move it, shake it, dream it into a new reality. How can we lose the world, forsake the world, be in the world but not of it? I suggest the very difficult task of uncurling your fingers around whatever you want the most. Let go, be free. Choose loneliness, because only in the quiet can your heart begin to grow, expand, move within your chest and burn with new fire.

Choose silence first, then as your heart begins to mold to a new form, go. Move. Dance. Put yourself in the world and smile like it’s the last day of your life. Give. Look into the eyes of everyone on the street and see their needs, bright and open and wounded. Sometimes, by choosing loneliness for yourself, you can eradicate it for others.

Everyone is a bit lonely, but that does not make them world changers. Set yourself apart, embrace your discontent, dance to your own beautiful music. Then see the world move, shake and crumble into loveliness.

Seeking Submissions: Movement

Welcome to August!

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This month we are focusing on the wisdom and love found in moments of movement.

We can’t wait to read your submissions. Tell us how your faith moves you, how moving has changed your faith. Show us and the world how you have moved on your spiritual journey.

We need your voices, your stories, your wisdom, and… whatever lint you find in your wise pockets.