My apologies for not offering the exact name of the author of this prayer (scroll down to bottom). All I can find is a title: “Seventeenth-Century Nun’s Prayer”. However, the language sounds a bit too modern to be written by a Nun in the 1600’s. I suspect false advertising.
However, Nun or no Nun. It’s good stuff. As you are well aware, I’ve been doing quite a bit of writing on the subject of Facebook. You can read about that here, here, and here. They are lengthy posts.
There is no denying that FB, Twitter, blogging, etc. are now a mainstay in our culture. Communication has not necessarily “come to this”, but the “this” has certainly taken up some prime real estate in our interactions with one another.
A friend shared this prayer with me a few days ago, and I thought it was both a fabulous read, and incredibly convicting and helpful as we navigate our daily interactions with one another in person, as well as in cyber-life.
I have come to yet another conclusion about social media: In the written world, there seems to be a lack of grace towards the poster and those that comment on posts. The environment yields itself well to quickly constructed sound-bytes which seem to provoke (encourage?) quick responses (reactions?) in return. However, the grace we may extend to one another in real, physical life, you know, the face to face contact that was so popular years ago, seems to get chucked when we choose to type our thoughts – whether as the original author, or the commentator. People misspeak. We all, at times, speak without thinking. So one could argue that we also mistype – letting our fingers do the talking without first examining what it is we are saying. I know I have. Have you?
Just look at the citation list above.
If that was the standard, I’d be guilty of all it. Except maybe the vulgarity. Unless you count “A$$” or the cleverly disguised, “@#(^”.
Is anyone completely innocent of all charges?
And, just who is writing these “tickets”?
“The author [of the list in the photo] should just,” as my sister put it, “remove him/herself off of the offending social media site and let the rest of us enjoy ourselves.”
Yes, rather than keeping a list of wrong-doings.
In that respect, FB and real-life seem eerily similar. Do they not?
So, the prayer. For those of us that post. And for those of us who comment on posts. For me. For you. For the time being, I’m choosing to watch my fingers a bit more closely. Slow to speak. Slow to type.
Lord, you know better than I know myself that I am growing older and will someday be old. Keep me from the fatal habit of thinking I must say something on every subject and on every occasion. Release me from the craving to straighten out everybody else’s affairs. Make me thoughtful, but not moody. Helpful, but not bossy. With my vast store of wisdom, it seems a pity not to use it all, but you know, Lord, that I want a few friends at the end.
Keep my mind free from endless recital of details; give me wings to get to the point. Seal my lips on my aches and pains. They are increasing, and the love of rehearsing them is becoming sweeter as the years go by. I dare not ask for grace enough to enjoy the tales of others’ pains, but help me to endure them with patience.
I dare not ask for improved memory, but for a growing humility and a lessening cocksureness when my memory seems to clash with the memories of others. Teach me the glorious lesson that occasionally – I may have been mistaken.
Keep my reasonably sweet. I do not want to be a saint – some of them are so hard to live with. But a sour old person is one of the crowning works of the devil. Give me the ability to see good things in unexpected places, and talents in unexpected people. And give me, Lord, the grace to tell them so.