A friend of a friend just remembered this poem by Dad, so I pass it on.
A prayer for single-mindedness
Lord of reality make me real
an actor playing out a part —
I don’t want to keep a prayer list
but to pray.
Not agonize to find Your will
but to obey what I already know
I don’t want to argue theories of inspiration
but submit to Your Word.
I don’t want to explain the difference
between eros and philos and agape
but to love.
I don’t want to sing as if I mean it
I want to mean it.
I don’t want to just tell it like it is
but to be it like You want me to be.
I don’t want to tell others how to do it
but to do it
Not to have to be always right
but admit it when I’m wrong.
I don’t want to be a census taker
but an obstetrician bringing forth new life.
Not just an involved person, a professional
but a friend.
I don’t want to be insensitive
but to hurt where other people hurt
Not just say “I know how you feel”
but instead to say “God knows and I’ll try
if you’ll be patient with me
and meanwhile I’ll be quiet.”
I don’t want to scorn the clichés of others
but to mean everything I say
including this prayer.
-Joe Bayly, Psalms of My Life