Posted by: T. Boyd | December 15, 2010

Above the Deep Intent

Two days ago I prayed a somewhat weak prayer for strength to overcome my persistent feelings of fatigue and lassitude.  And then, as usual, I was pleasantly surprised that the answer came: I realized later in the day that I didn’t feel so tired – I had forgotten myself and just went about several hours doing things that needed to be done.  And then this morning, when a newly acquainted neighbor, Debbie, asked for help to start her car, the tiredness just dissolved in my response to her request.

Help me, Lord, to “build above the deep intent, [ and follow through to] the deed, the deed.”   From:

A Prayer by John Drinkwater

LORD, not for light in darkness do we pray,
Not that the veil be lifted from our eyes,
Nor that the slow ascension of our day
Be otherwise.

Not for a clearer vision of the things
Whereof the fashioning shall make us great,
Not for remission of the peril and stings
Of time and fate.

Not for a fuller knowledge of the end
Whereto we travel, bruised yet unafraid,
Nor that the little healing that we lend
Shall be repaid.

Not these, O Lord. We would not break the bars
Thy wisdom sets about us ; we shall climb
Unfettered to the secrets of the stars
In Thy good time.

We do not crave the high perception swift
When to refrain were well, and when fulfil.
Nor yet the understanding strong to sift
The good from ill.

Not these, O Lord. For these Thou hast revealed,
We know the golden season when to reap
The heavy-fruited treasure of the field,
The hour to sleep.

Not these. We know the hemlock from the rose,
The pure from stained, the noble from the base.
The tranquil holy light of truth that glows
On Pity’s face.

We know the paths wherein our feet should press,
Across our hearts are written Thy decrees.
Yet now, O Lord, be merciful to bless
With more than these.

Grant us the will to fashion as we feel,
Grant us the strength to labour as we know,
Grant us the purpose, ribbed and edged with steel.
To strike the blow.

Knowledge we ask not ‚knowledge Thou hast lent,
But, Lord, the will ‚there lies our bitter need,
Give us to build above the deep intent
The deed, the deed.

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