Saturday, 5 January 2019

Starting the New Year with Oswald Chambers and Antoine de Saint-Exupery

 New Year Blessings!

I received two daily devotional books as Christmas gifts; one in German, one in English. Der Herr ist Nahe (The Lord is Near), has become somewhat of a tradition, where friends from Germany send me a new copy each year. (Thanks, Lutz and Ante!) Each day/page starts with a Bible verse, which is explained, or sometimes also highlighted with a short story, in the text that follows it. I also appreciate the clear and comfortable print. (I must be getting old - first thing I notice when I open a book these days, whether the print is tiny or just right. It's not that I can't read the small print at all, I can. But I certainly appreciate when my eyes don't get strained after the third page.) 

The other book is a well-known daily devotional by Oswald Chambers - My Utmost for His Highest. (Thanks, Kathy!) I tried one of those books a few years ago and found the language difficult to follow. I find this 'Updated Edition in Today's Language' a lot better. (I accept the fact that the print in this one is not 'just right'.) I'm grateful that I have two devotionals to start my days of right this year! And for the friends that gifted them!! 

Some time ago another German friend introduced me to the German version of a beautiful prayer by Antoine de Saint-Exupery, the author of The Little Prince. I prefer the German version and have read it numerous times and always find it's simple message inspiring and quite fitting for the start of a new year. As part of my New Year's wish to you, I'll share the English one here so more people can read and understand it.  


The Art of Small Steps, a Prayer

Lord, I’m not praying for miracles and visions, 
I’m only asking for strength for my days. 
Teach me the art of small steps.
Make me clever and resourceful, so that I can find important 
discoveries and experiences among the diversity of days.
Help me use my time better. 
Present me with the sense to be able to judge 
whether something is important or not.
I pray for the power of discipline and moderation, 
not only to run throughout my life, 
but also to live my days reasonably, 
and observe unexpected pleasures and heights.
Save me from the naive belief that everything in life has to go smoothly. 
 Give me the sober recognition that difficulties, 
failures, fiascos, and setbacks are given to us by life itself 
to make us grow and mature.
Send me the right person at the right moment, 
who will have enough courage and love to utter the truth!
I know that many problems solve themselves, 
so please teach me patience.
You know how much we need friendship. 
Make me worthy of this nicest, hardest, riskiest, 
and most fragile gift of life.
Give me enough imagination to be able to share with someone 
a little bit of warmth, 
in the right place, at the right time, 
with words or with silence.
Spare me the fear of missing out on life.
Do not give me the things I desire, but the things I need.
Teach me the art of small steps!

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