Do you take the time to reflect on your day before you go to bed? “Sleeping with Bread” (written by Sheila, Matthew and Dennis Linn) is a book about the examen (St. Ignatius) and it talks about asking two questions at the end of the day. There are many variations to these questions, but here they are in their simplest form:
What do I want to thank God for today?
What do I want to ask God for today?
The book is short and easy to read and it gives many examples of how powerful this prayer is. I would never be so bold as to think that I could add a third, but since this is my blog, here goes:
What do I need to learn from my experiences today?
This question helps me to put things into the proper perspective. I can take a perfectly horrible thing that happened to me that day and turn it around. I can say to myself, ‘ok, you can moan about it, wallow in self-pity, or try to find the hidden lesson in the midst of it all’. For example, I did something (have no idea what) to my left thumb. It is so sore that I am limited in how I can use it. Every time I move it I feel pain….
So, the question becomes….what can I learn from this injury? Maybe I need to remember that other people are hurting right now from illness and injury and maybe I can remember them in prayer. Maybe I should remember that I am vulnerable and that this is a journey, not my final destination.
If someone cuts me off on the road…instead of getting angry, what can I learn from that? Perhaps compassion, maybe that person has something ‘heavy’ on their mind and that distracted them? Maybe I need to be more patient? Maybe I need to remember to thank God more often for watching over me!
My ‘new’ question has invited me to think a little deeper, pray a bit more often, and love a little more……
At the end of the day…….what can I learn, how can I grow, how can I better follow Him?