+[good morning, Lord]+

If I could see the biggest picture, I would go exactly where You are leading -  because that way is most certainly the best I will ever know.    My gravitational pull is toward self though, so I ask You, once again, to lead me.

If my calloused eyes could discern all the superficial luster of this world, and how empty accumulation will be the very evidence against me, I would steer wildly clear.  So I ask You once again to give me wisdom and vision.

If bitter envy and selfish ambition were not so willingly steeped within me like some robust tea, I wouldnt continually excuse their symptoms and the way they stain my life.  So I ask You to purify me, regardless of the cost.  Even more..If I understood that all the "selfishes" lead to sin, and sin to death of everything important in life, I would erase the first chalked step on that hopscotch trail to demise.  So I ask You once again to restore me from my pride, my evident narcissism.

If I saw the pick-and-shovel of my life as opportunity to display Your Glory to this world, perseverance would seem more like a flowered meadow walk and less like, well, pick and shovel. So I ask You once again to strengthen my faith, my virtue, and make me resolute.

Its my pride and need to see myself as great that makes me quarrel with others.

I feel lost as to what You want me to do with my gifts, gifts from You, but in that unbeknownst I exaggerate my importance.

I am quite sure that I am blind to crippling traps which are mere inches from my feet, and left to myself, I will see them only after I have fallen.

I open my mouth to hear myself talk, to quench my thirst for notice and achievement,  knowing all the while my only life-giving water is from You.

Left alone, without Your redemption, these things will never change.  My name is written in the dirt at the base of your Tree and there it will remain until your blood runs over it, painting it anew, time and time again.   I can not look past my need for that blood, Your continual covering.   Its the same dirt which held the just-bitten fruit, the juice in Edens garden.   I have swallowed so much of this world, only to find malnourishment from its rot.

But You have another plan in mind, a renewal, a release.  You do not expect perfection from me, simply a lived out faith in You.  Today I watch the trees and think of all You planned for me, in spite of me, for Your Glory.  And my desire is to thank you with my life.