Good morning!

Delighted I am to be in New York right now and not in sweltering in Paris as France is in heat-wave mode (and I have no air conditioning at my apartment there), while New York is delightfully chilly!

I know, I know! It's a bit selfish of me to be happy with chill New York as many prepare for their Labor Day festivities, but I love when nature reminds us that everything is out of control (although sometimes, as with Harvey, she appears to go overboard. Prayers for Houston.)

It's outta control!

From the outset of this life, it seems, we learn that it is important to try to contain life, to control it, to pin it down and make it behave, like a master horse trainer would do with a magnificent wild stallion. Some call it "breaking" the horse, and indeed something pure and precious is broken in the process.

But does it make sense, really, to train that stallion, whose true beauty and strength lies in his wildness? Similarly, does it make sense to tuck our lives into little boxes in a (futile and) desperate effort to feel we are in control of them? Don't we also risk breaking something precious?

In both instances, it is fear that drives the action.

The world fears a stallion, unpredictable, powerful. So we break them to fit them into our molds.

Isn't the same true for our lives, at some level?

Fearing the unknown, we try to fold ourselves up into tidy roles to fit into nice neat boxes (complete with label-maker), in accordance with someone else's rules, or in line with our own fears.

Yet it seems that only when we let go of the reins of control do we actually get a taste of real life, life in its fullness, life that is - oh YES! - unpredictable. But also Life that is fulfilling, rich, amazing, inspired and inspiring.

These days, I am in contact with a lot of students the world over who are in the grip of that kind of fear, wrestling against the net in which that fear binds them. For me, too, the roller coaster that is this life has me these days going back and forth between a joyful, raucous "Look, Ma, no hands!" to something more akin to a whispered "Oh dear Lord, if you get me off of this damn roller coaster, I swear I'll keep my room clean."

The soul's urging to stretch toward the fullness, to each day go out and allow the magic of unbridled Life to happen (allowing the unknown and Unknowable by grace to reveal Itself), is so often countermanded by the very real and human urge to stay in bed.

But we were not meant for sleeping! My Irish grandmother used to say, terse, "You'll sleep when you're dead."

She was right.

If I stay in bed, if I don't move out of my comfort zone and stretch ever further, allowing growth consciously and with wild abandon, I diminish greatly the amount of LIFE in my life. I "break" the stallion.

I don't want to break the stallion.

I want the stallion to run free!

But, so very human, I would also like to be able to see what's coming and control what is going on around me. If left to my own devices, I'd probably put the damn stallion in a pen (it'd be easier), limiting the potential of my life just when it is getting interesting.

Knowing that, it's a good thing also to know that I do not have to be left to my own devices! I've got help (we all do.)

And to call on that help, I begin this day with a prayer...

k. hudson

Dear, dear Lord,
you who know my heart and the chains of its fretting:
release me.

You who see my desire to shine your Light
sometimes thwarted in darkness:
increase me.

You who have held my hand since I and it were small
but who knows the true dimensions of this life's possibility:
unleash me.

Lord, when I cower and shake,
when my voice trembles and it looks like I may crumble or bow:
a-peace me.

And for this day, oh Lord, I beg of you,
help me to allow Your will, my stallion, to run in grandeur through me:
release me!

Release me from my fear to Your courage.
Release me from my smallness to Your infinite grace.
Release me from all judgment to Your clear seeing.
Release me from Fear's shackles to Your loving freedom.

Thank You!

Love from New York...