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SOUNDINGS: Turning Fifty (today), With Abandon!

I’m not a big birthday guy.  Most years I’m content to quietly let the day pass without a lot of notice and a simple dinner with loved ones, with some time to reflect and pray in gratitude.

But this year I tip over some sort of edge into my 50s, and as I’ve done on the ‘decade birthdays’ before, this one calls for greater reflection, and yes, more partying.

Overwhelmingly, the two greatest emotions I feel today are gratitude and desire.

I’m so very grateful for…everything.   God has been so faithful to me, always and every time.  I’ve made a short list of all that I’m grateful for looking back, and it’s a very long list!  God is good, all the time, and all the time, God is good.  I’m grateful and give him great thanks and glory.

And while I have many desires, the deep one (again) looking forward is to give my life again to God, in a fresh and sober and earnest and gladsome way.

Fittingly perhaps, tomorrow this year’s class of Coracle Fellows will have their last retreat, and the topic is “Abandonment to God”.

Jean Pierre de Caussade wrote that “The essence of spirituality is contained in this phrase:  complete and utter abandonment to the will of God”.

My long definition of abandonment is when we, in the marrow of our bones, trust the goodness and providence of God and surrender ourselves completely to His good and perfect will, come what may.

The short definition is to only want the will of God, regardless of form.

Last year I wrote a prayer of abandonment, and will pray it again today with as much sincerity as I can muster.

What do I want from you on this, my 50th birthday?    That you would pray this with me today as well!

Let’s pray together…

“Father, I have been loved by You, and You know me, and You are with me.  You are good, and You know what is best for me.  You know best how to use me.  You know best how to shape me.  You know what I need, and You are good.  I give you all of myself, all that I am, all that I have, all of it I give to You, and gladly.  My life is not my own.  I give back to you all that is in me that is good, and I give you all my weakness, all my sin, everything in me that remains broken.  I give it all to you to take it, remake it, and use it as you see fit.  For you know me, and you love me.   And I love you too.   I abandon myself to you, dear Father, with hope and gladness.  Stay with me.  Amen.”