Looking over the final tally of our poll yesterday, it seems like the Bedtime Prayers adventure has edged out Three Square Meals by a single vote.
(To those of you who voted for the losing adventure, don’t worry! We’ll do that one next week.)
So, then, I suppose I should take time now to explain what this week’s winning adventure is all about.
It seems so simple, really, to say that the last thing I plan do before bed each night will be to spend a few moments speaking reverently to my Creator. You’d think that as an ordained Rev. and his loving Mrs., Ken and I are would have had this one down pat ages ago.
But . . . we don’t. Never have, really.
We’re very diligent about leading the children through “The Eyes of All Look to Thee, O Lord” or “Come, Lord Jesus” at mealtimes and “Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep” or “Our Father” at bedtime, but I will confess to you shamefacedly that we’re not nearly as disciplined when it comes to our own daily offices.
In giving the people of Israel the Ten Commandments, the Lord commanded them also to make his words a daily part of their: “Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up,” he said (Deut. 6:7).
Yeeaaahh . . . about that.
My last thought before lying down to bed last night was “Ah, I’m so glad we finally found an episode of Burn Notice that didn’t end on a raging cliffhanger. Now I may actually have the chance to snag a few hours of sleep tonight!”
My first thought this morning was, “Is that the time? Oh, crap. I cannot believe I slept so long on our first day back to school! Where’s my towel? I need a shower! Agh. I feel awful all over. I should not have stayed up so late last night watching Burn Notice.”
Burn Notice, in case you’re wondering, is my latest addiction. It’s been really cutting into my desire to blog (or do anything else that’s remotely worthwhile) lately. I’m probably going to watch an episode after I post this, in fact. I have only two more seasons before I run out of it on Netflix. Then I can get my life back.
Still, as good a show as Burn Notice is (and it is a really good show), it isn’t the thing that should occupy my morning as I open and close each day. That spot should only go to God.
Folks in the good old fashioned days understood that a little better than we do, I think.
I’m reminded here of Marilla Cuthbert in Anne of Green Gables. When, on her first night at Green Gables, Anne announces, “I never say any prayers,” Marilla is shocked:
“Why, Anne, what do you mean? Were you never taught to say your prayers? God always wants little girls to say their prayers. . . . Don’t you know it’s a terrible wicked thing not to say your prayers every night? . . . You must say your prayers while you are under my roof, Anne.”
I suppose I must be a terribly wicked woman by Marilla Cuthbert’s standards, because I have fallen woefully out of the habit of saying prayers before bed each night.
So, then, this will be our adventure for the week: to read a brief devotional selection from the Bible and to say a prayer, together or apart, each night as the last thing we do before falling asleep, whenever that may be. Our prayers may be read, drawn from memory, made up on the spot, or a combination of all three. (I personally don’t believe God makes a distinction between these, so long as the words are spoken sincerely from the heart, in spirit and in truth.)
With any luck, our prayers will be a little more graceful than Anne Shirley’s inaugural bedtime prayer, though I hope they’ll be no less heartfelt:
“Gracious heavenly Father, I thank Thee for the White
Way of Delight and the Lake of Shining Waters and Bonny
and the Snow Queen. I’m really extremely grateful for
them. And that’s all the blessings I can think of just
now to thank Thee for. As for the things I want,
they’re so numerous that it would take a great deal of
time to name them all so I will only mention the two
most important. Please let me stay at Green Gables;
and please let me be good-looking when I grow up.
And with that, until next week (or until I finally get around to writing my big Christmas recap, whichever comes first),
(Read the recap of this adventure here.)